Tapioles 53, Barcelona
Tel: 34 93 329 2238
Concierge.com's insider take:
Forget three-star restaurants and city-center hot spots. The newest, coolest way to dine in Barcelona is to uncover some hole-in-the-wall hidden beneath a car park; or better still, ingratiate yourself into a private dining club. Tapioles 53 is a "food space" in Poble Sec where diners must be members (a privilege that comes at the not-so-lofty expense of calling ahead, eating there, and signing your name to a register.) It's housed in a converted umbrella-making factory, but its ancient table and open kitchen make it feel like a private home. Chef Sarah Stothart's father—a well-known Australian painter—did the abstract oils of the Penedès wine region and of Australia that hang on the walls. Born in Australia and brought up in Greece, Spain, France, and Italy, Stothart's far-flung repertoire has been influenced by dishes she learned at her mother's knee and from eating her way around the world. The menu changes weekly, but look for her mother's juniper, veal, and pork terrine; rosewater-infused cardamom rice pudding; fresh goat cheese-with-spinach gnocchi and sage butter; and Thai beef salads.
Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 9 pm to midnight.