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Santa, Barcelona

2 Avinguda Meridiana
Spain 08018
Tel: 34 93 309 7078's insider take:

Chef Paco Guzman has made a name for himself as the merry prankster of "new wave tapas" at Santa Maria. Santa, his second restaurant, aims to put less stress on your credit card. The blond wood tables, retro wire chairs, and funky oversize lampshades have been supplied by designer Alfons Tost (who also decked out Monvínic); the music is loud and funky, and the waiters charmingly flirtatious. Santa's menu is just as much fun, with bistro-inspired main courses such baby cochinillo (suckling pig) with leeks and sage and rice cooked with lobster and artichokes. Half portions are available, should you wish to share, but where the menu really shines is with Guzman's hallmark tapas. Order the five-dish sortido for a true taste of his creativity, such as a salad of hummus, celery, and wild mushrooms with a peanut butter sauce, or a small steak tartare with mustard ice cream. The €20 Sunday night–only fixed menu is a good bet in this quiet, more residential part of town, when many other restaurants are closed.

Open daily from 1:30 to 4 pm and 8:30 pm to midnight.

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