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TOC, Barcelona

59 Carrer de Girona
Spain 08009
Tel: 34 93 488 1148's insider take:

In a city where customer comfort often seems like an afterthought, the stellar service at this joint venture, opened in 2005 by young chef Santi Colominas and exemplary maître d' Sandra Baliarda, stands out. The striking interior is the work of local hotshot designer Jordi Torres, who combined industrial materials with a mural of a tree to create a sort of yin and yang of strength and gentleness. There's a modernista tile on each table—homage to the ornament and whimsy of the 19th-century design movement. But Colominas's seasonal menus are an exercise in restraint and balance: crisp sepiones (baby cuttlefish) in a rich sofrito of cherries and sticky cuttlefish ink; creamy duck liver paired with delicately roasted wild-garlic stems. The wine list is small, carefully considered, and well-priced, but the fact that all of the fashion-forward gourmands who fill the place smoke is a downer.

Closed Sundays.

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