Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Casa Guinart, El Raval, Barcelona

We walked by this location (La Rambla, 95 Barcelona, tel :   93 317 8887) a couple of times and noticed it because it looked notches better than most of the eating places in the vicinity and we remembered because it was just across from a Chinese food place that looked interesting. Not to mention too that it was located just beside Mercato San Josep where a certain very popular Bar Pinotxo can be found.

The other thing that piqued our interest was the progressive direction of the food which honestly, was not in abundance around this region. Food that looked a little more fun, welling from traditional roots.

We had some crusty bread rubbed in tomato and olive oil. Fruity from the oil and refreshing from the cold tomatoes that were stained onto the bread. It was a nice refreshing start for a meal.

Grilled squids from House Guinart were excellent. I would have preferred a little more char, but I guess the meat would also have turned out less tender than they would have wanted to serve.

Next came a platter of beans sauteed with diced jamón. The flavors came from probably a splash of vinegar and the smokiness of the ham that was cooked together with the legumes, brought together by some salt.

We were given a rather unusual knife for the food. The sharpened side was the straight side, not the curved. Most of the other people here still used the blunt curved end to cut their food.

We ordered seared chutoro for just to see how Casa Guinart does them. The flavors were decidedly very oriental with soy being a baseline note for the flavors. The insides of the tuna belly were fortunately still rare.

The tapas sized house burgers from Casa Guinart looked pretty interesting. I'm not too sure what went into them, but the flavors weren't as beefy as I liked and it was probably due to the heavy handed fruity/tart flavors that the makers tried to instill in them. I'm thinking it had to do with the onions, grain mustard and possibly the crystalline globules which I didn't know what it was. It was all a little too jam like for something that had beef and didn't have enough flavors of the cow as a balance.

The only thing that was truly disappointing came in the form of their baby lamb ribs. I was thinking grilled rather than breaded and deep fried since the menu describes nothing about how all their food is prepared. It just says baby lamb ribs. The flavors of the lamb were non existent and we were mostly chewing breading off bone that was fried in oil that had been sitting in the fryer for quite a while. We left it mostly untouched. The best part of this dish was their super airy aioli which was for dips.

These guys handled feedback quite graciously and didn't bill us for the lamb

Would I come back? Probably for some other things that I have yet to try.

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