Tapas 24 is conveniently located in the posh Eixample District on 269 Carrier Diputacio where the kitchen is open from 8am - midnight. Prepared with fresh high quality ingredients and served in a trendy energetic environment, the fanfare of creative small plates prove this Barcelona tapas bar is one not to be missed!
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Barcelona Cuisine | Tapas 24
Barcelona's Tapas 24, simultaneously know as Tapaç 24, is the brainchild of notorious Catalan chef Carles Abellan, the aforementioned El Buli alum and mastermind behind the luxury tapas at Comerc 24. It was at this centrally located and more affordable (in comparison) spot where Adam and I first developed an affection towards his cuisine, we ate here first and then persuaded ourselves to Comerc. Abellan's successful gastro-foucused restaurant ventures each provide a uniquely different experience. Tapas 24 was opened in 2006 as the chefs personal homage to the traditional tapas bar. While similarly informal and vivacious, the subterranean space as well the cuisine lend a contemporary edge to the coveted classics. We showed up on our first night in Barcelona (a Monday) to a line outside nearly 20 people deep. We were ravenous and headed in search of a more readily attainable meal; but didn't hesitate to return on another evening where much to our surprise, there was no line at all! (Note: It was a much later time-frame, maybe 10:30 pm. Still a nice surprise, because everyone in Spain usually eats super late anyways.) We were seated at a glossy white high top in the back corner, perched on sleek wooden bar stools accented with a metal finish.I snapped some photos as the night lingered on and seats cleared out. To the right of the interior above, tucked into a nook of similar size is a U-shaped counter surrounding the bustling open kitchen. Service was casual but friendly, our waiter spoke good English and kindly offered to translate the Tapas del Dia after I pointed to the mini blackboard and questioned "Que Reccomendas?!" A glass of Rioja (3€) kicked off the parade of tapas, first out were the Bombes de la Barceloneta (4€). Dubbed a potato meatball, these are a jovial take on the traditional croquette. The creamy mashed potato filling is infused with diced ham and those bombes of fun are fried up ever so crispy, topped with the quintessential spicy sauces of aioli and bravas. The energetic presentation lit up the room, and the creamy flavorful sauces did the same for your tastebuds. From the De la Llotja chalkboard specials, we ordered the Mussels Vapor (8€). A seemingly unadventurous choice, but if the mussels are a listed special of the day here, you better believe they might just be some of the best you've ever tasted. Plump and perfectly steamed, we relished in their freshness and inhaled this generous serving. With a name like Mc Foie - Burgeur (9,50€) this paper bag menu item was seriously lust inducing. I debated quite a few minutes over it, because Adam wasn't into the foie aspect. In the end, it proved way too intriguing to pass up. A miniature panini style burger contains a filling that more closely resembles beef tartare, a decadent tartare at that, on an unexpectedly thin and crispy bun. A quenelle of creamy, buttery foie gras is a spreadable side, creating a sensational flavor profile when fused with the rare beef. Another daily special we ordered was a bowl off the Spaguetti de Carabasso Amb Pesto (7,50€) Each al dente strand of zucchini pasta was coated in a light pesto sauce, the notes of fruity olive oil were distinctly wonderful. A topping of pine nuts and firm slabs of a Spanish goats milk cheese added lively texture. This was another winning dish. For postres (dessert!) the Xocolata Pa (5€) was as decadent as they come, provoking bliss with every bite. Three quenelles of silky milk chocolate mousse are lavishly drizzled in fragrant olive oil, sprinkled in sea salt and garnished with toasted bread. Punctuated bites of sweet, savory, salty, crunchy and creamy are yours to attune. Another highlight of the meal was sharing our four top with like-minded enthusiasts; travelers from our very own backyard of Cambridge, MA! I mean, what are the chances?! It was the couples second night eating here, they came back again for the xocolata. I don't blame them, it was that good.