This page will give you a review of the Basilico restaurant along with details of a small local bar to visit after your meal in a quiet Catalan Rambla a few minutes walk from the restaurant. If you choose to take this itinarary you will be far away from the tourist crowds and enjoying some local Catalan living. Another good reason to visit this restaurant and bar is that because you are out of the tourist area you pay a fraction of the cost for a decent night out typically 30% cheaper for your meal than an equivelent restaurant in a touristy area.
|Basilico Restaurant in Barcelona|
Last week Paul Yates (our Grand Prix correspondent) and I decided to go out with the aim to find a restaurant in Barcelona that offered attentive customer service with tasty food at a reasonable price. A tall order you might ask? If you have eaten out in Barcelona before you will know what I mean. Finding a restaurant with good waiter service without paying the earth is not exactly easy.
We wondered around Poble Sec (my local Barrio) for a while until we stumbled upon Basilico restaurant at Av Paral-lel, 142 only a few minutes walk from the Green Line metro Poble Sec.
Peering through the smoked glass windows we could see Basilico restaurant had a stylish interior with comfortable low level lighting. It also had quite a number of diners in the restaurant. Both of these were good signs for us to give this restaurant a try.
OK with you Paul? I asked.
"Looks like it's got air-conditioning. I've also had enough traipsing around, I could do with an ice cold beer" was Paul's reply.
"Sounds good to me Paul" I replied and we pushed open the door to the restaurant and walked in.
We were promptly greeted by someone at the reception desk a few metres on the left to the entrance. No waiting around for 10 minutes for someone to even just notice us as is normally the case when you walk into a restaurant in Barcelona. "So far so good" I thought.
We were shown to our table and asked if we would like a drink whilst we settled in "am I dreaming?" I mused, a quick pinch to my left arm disproved that theory. Ouch! "OK this is real but let's see how we go from here."
A few minutes later the drinks arrived along with the menus available in a choice of English or Spanish. All the signs are still looking good. I took sip of cerveza (beer) and flicked through the menu to what was on offer for the evening meal.
|Mediterranean Salad Starter|
After browsing the menus for 5 minutes we decided to go halfs on a Mediterranean salad starter and ordered separate main dishes and desserts. I went for the Lasagne main dish (Lasagne fina de rellom iberic amb ceba confitada xampinyones i ceps) followed by the cheese cake for dessert. Paul ordered roast beef de tonjina with chutney and mango sauce for the main course, with a Xocalatissima dessert (Chocolate pudding dessert).
When our main courses arrived I was surprised (and a little disappointed) that my "Lasagne" was not in-fact a lasagne in the traditional sense but was a meat dish with a tomato and mushroom sauce. I asked the waiter "where is the lasagne?" He said "the meat in our dish is the Lasagne"
"Oh, ok, right, of course it is, that is clear now?" "Just go with the flow" I thought.
I tried the meat "lasagne" dish they had brought and although it was tasty it was not what I was
|Paul's roast beef cutlets with mango sauce|
expecting and I could not help but feel a little mislead by the menu description, perhaps I should have accepted the English menu after all!
Paul's dish was more in-line with what he thought he ordered however after finishing his main course Paul lent over the table and said "that was really tasty - but it's a good job we've also ordered dessert".
I know exactly what he meant. The main dish portions were quite small with bite sized food that seemed to be isolated by the considerable white space of the dish around them (see photo above). If you could just ignore the orange source in the photo above I think you can see what I mean.
|My cheese cake dessert|
I finished off the main course and we requested the desserts.
I have to say that my cheese cake was one of the most delicious cheese cakes that I had tried in a while and I was pleased I had made that choice. Both Paul and I thought the desserts were excellent and well presented.
"Well Paul, what did you think of the meal?" After a few moments thought Paul reached over to his glass and took a sip of beer before responding. He paused for a few seconds more as if searching for some deep and insightful response.
|Paul's Chocolate Pudding|
"Well John, there is no question it was a tasty meal, well presented and we had quick and efficient service. The prices are reasonable for a restaurant of this standard. However if I were to come back I would double check what I ordered was actually what I thought I was going to get and also make sure to order a few plates for openers - the portion sizes were quite modest"
What struck both Paul and I about the meal was the presentation of the food. Both the main courses and desserts were thoughtfully and artistically presented. We were also pleased with the service we got. It was fast, friendly and efficient.
"I'll be back in a minute" I said to Paul. "I'm just going to take a quick look around for our readers" I then got up and had a wonder around the restaurant to find out more.
|Basilico interior design|
Basilico is a fair size restaurant which extends back from the main entrance by about 15 metres or so. I was surprised to find it was a lot bigger than we first thought. The attention to detail in using matching furniture and interior design was tasteful and stylish throughout with modernist paintings hung on matt-black walls. Solid wood floor panels matched the wooden tables and chairs and gave it a modern but homely feel.
"I wonder if the bathrooms are also of this standard?" I was not disappointed. The bathrooms were spotlessly clean and were themselves also designer with the walls and floor decorated with black marble. The sinks and mirrors were also spotless.
I realised that the people who ran this restaurant obviously take pride in the service they offer. It also explains why Basilico was full of happy diners.
I made my way back to the table, taking a few photos en-route.
"Well Paul, are you ready to leave?"
"Yes I think so. Where to next?"
"How about we round off the evening at this little Spanish bar that is situated in a quiet Rambla just a few minutes walk from here? There is not a tourist in sight and the whole area has an authentic Catalan community feel"
"Sounds good" said Paul.
We paid the bill and made our way out of the restaurant. I turned around and took one last photo of Basilico and picked up their business card for this article.
|Carrer de Blai - a quiet Catalan Rambla only a few minutes walk from the Basilico restaurant|
"OK, it's this way Paul" I think you're going to like this next place. You won't find it in any of the standard tourist guide books and we can sit out with a table in the middle of a small Catalan rambla" It's quite lively but you won't find a single tourist there.
"Lead on" was Paul's reply and we made our way to Carrer de Blai, a small Rambla only 10 minutes walk from Basilico (see location of this bar at the foot of the page).
Restaurant name: Basilico
Restaurant address: Av. Paral.lel 142 08015, Barcelona, España
Tel: +34 93 423 7376
Metro:Poble Sec (Green Line, L3)
Restaurant Type: Mediterranean / World Cuisine.
Food Rating: 7/10
3 course meal for 2 people with drink: €49.20
Price per person: €24.60
Ambiance: Stylish / Designer
Location Map of Basilico and Bar Ramon in Barcelona
|Bar Ramon on Carrer de Blai Rambla|
Bar Ramon on Carrer de Blai in Poble Sec Barcelona
Carrer de Blai, 28-30 Poble Sec