Bravo24 is the signature restaurant of the W Hotel in Barcelona’s marina and has its own private lift in the reception area. We entered the lift expecting to be whisked up to the 24th floor but alas it merely took us up one level to the sun terrace.
The location (if you are having lunch on the terrace) stops this restaurant from being a “destination restaurant”. This is mainly because of its child friendly nature and the fact you are directly overlooking the sun terrace which provides a stunning view of Frank Gehry’s ‘Peix d’Or’ bronze whale sculpture and the not so stunning views of some of the W’s guests basking in the sun.
The executive chef is Carles Abellan who is also responsible for Comerc 24, our No Expert Best of the Best award winner last year, so as expected the food is off a high standard. However it was a slightly mixed bag with some very good high end dishes, served along side some fairly basic grills. I especially enjoyed the Cod salad which based on the menu description was not quite as expected as it was very refined indeed. For our main course we went for the Veal, it was served with some lovely mash but alas as I’m not a huge fan of eating fat (I know some people like this sort of thing) I wasn’t able to clean my plate.
I would imagine that the atmosphere in the evening is very different, making this a more suitable fine dining experience, than our casual lunch.
However despite this criticism, we would say that Bravo 24 is a good place for lunch, especially if you are in the area and want to check out the W or relax in the foyer bar. However you will need to be aware of the damage it will do to your wallet. Our lunch for example consisted of 3 courses and 3 glasses of wine at approx 70 euros per person.
This restaurant based on earlier experiences was almost a tie with Comerc 24 as our favourite Barcelona Restaurant. Not so this time as Comerc 24 was streets ahead. Tram Tram another old favorite pulled out the stops and easily beat Cinc Sentits to second place.
Some of the usual courses were excellent (the foie gras) but a few too many had slipped to just ordinary so that the whole meal felt a bit hit and miss. The individual courses had shrunk so that a dimple in the plate seemed to hold them. The cheese course in particular looked really tiny, (one small piece of cheese, a minuscule tomato and a couple of leaves of rocket), but I have to say it came as a bit of a surprise as it was very tasty indeed.
One of the more substantial dishes was the fish course served in glass paper, a presentation style I have so far only seen at Launceston Place in London.
Maybe we’ll do a return next year, but with so much competition who knows.
Comerç 24 will never win awards for its service I suspect, based on our experience (the exception being the sommelier, who is one of the best). I know it must be boring to repeat the same menu options and descriptions of food all day long but most good restaurants manage it. It was bewildering to watch the waiter describe in detail the food on our plates for every course while gazing out the window.
On the food front however its exceptional. It began as before with a selection of olive oils of varying strengths and bread, an olive stuffed with anchovy, golden macadamia nuts and a Parmesan cheese straw. If anything these were the weaker elements in the meal before it really got started.
The Cod ice-cream and Tuna tartare being real standouts.
We had just finished commenting on Comerc 24 food – stating that it was never just good, it was always either “very good” or “sublime”, then came a course I did not enjoy (the steak and strawberries). I left most of it, and got a reaction that really showed just how much Comerc 24 do care about the customer experience. When the waiter saw I had not finished the course he asked if there was any problems, when I said I had not really enjoyed it, he immediately insisted that I have a replacement, as quote “we want you to be happy”. The replacement course was delicious and delivered with apologies from the waiter, the sommelier and the restaurant manager!
For all its small flaws this is one restaurant we hope to return to.
This 1 star Michelin is something of a Barcelona gem. Its much more experimental and adventurous in its cooking than most. At the beginning of the meal we were presented with a rack of 4 olive oil bottles to try with the bread. Gold leaf coated Macadamia nuts inside a Sardine tin prepare you for a meal that is not traditional by any measure. One particularly memorable course was the soup. Six tiny flavoured egg yokes suspended in the soup. When eaten they pop and melt over your tongue. A wonderful effect.
I was going off the idea of going to elBulli in this life time, considering it seems impossible to get a reservation, thinking that perhaps its a bit too out there, but my experience at Comerç 24 made me think there might be something to this Molecular gastronomy after all, so if you can not get to elBulli, Comerç 24 might be a more acceptable alternative.
Tram Tram is situated in the lovely Sarrià area of Barcelona. Take the FGC to Sarrià (Nuria exit), it just takes 10 mins on an air conditioned train from Pl Catalunya to get to Sarrià.
See video of the square in Sarria :-
We had been trying to get to Tram Tram for a number of years but it was always closed when we passed. From its name we expected it to be a casual walk in venue. Much to my surprise when we did get a booking, it was a much more up market affair.
It has several dinning areas, a small room at the front, a larger room at the back, a private room and a small courtyard. The food is of a high standard and the service is efficient and friendly. That same year we visited the 3 Michelin Star Sant Pau and I can tell you that I actually enjoyed my meal more here.
It has now become a regular venue for us. If it wasn’t for the competition from Cinc Sentits and Comerc 24 this year then this would be my number one in Barcelona. No Michelin star….just a hidden gem. It’s also superb value for money.
On our last trip to Barcelona, we had planned to spend the Saturday evening at Moo, but could not get a table, so at short notice via toptable I made a reservation at El Raco d’en Freixa instead.
When we arrived we were taken through the attractive front room, past the Kitchen into the rather dull small backroom, yes it looked like we had got the worst table in the Restaurant.
As we often do when we first try a restaurant we went for the tasting menu. The food here is “fun” as the chef likes to play with your preconceptions. The meat course looks like a dessert, and the desert looks like meat etc. The highlight was “the burger!”.
The biggest surprise was not the food however, it was the guest at the next table who got up and came over to speak to us. Talk about a small world, it was Markus Lindner, the restaurant Manager of the Foliage in London. He was also there as a second choice, when he could not get into Comerc 24 on the Saturday evening, so definitely a touch of serendipity there.
Update : February 2009 – El Raco d’en Freixa has now been replaced by FREIXA Tradicio.