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Disfrutar. Photo: Francesc Guillamet

Disfrutar. Photo: Francesc Guillamet

Disfrutar. Photo: Francesc Guillamet

Disfrutar. Photo: Francesc Guillamet

Disfrutar. Photo: Francesc Guillamet

Address Villarroel 163; 08036 Barcelona
between Mallorca and Provença
Neighbourhood Eixample Esquerra – Mercat de Ninot, Hospital Clínic | See on map
Metro Hospital Clínic [L5]
Telephone +34 93 348 6896
Website http://disfrutarbarcelona.com
https://www.facebook.com/disfrutarbarcelona
Price Tasting menus EUR 68-98 plus drinks.
Hours Tues-Sat 13-15, 20-22.

Thousands of chefs have worked in the mythical kitchens of Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli but few have the credentials of Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas, the trio behind Disfrutar. These gents were the chefs de cuisine during the peak years through to its closure, and now they’re making magic happen here at their own place in Barcelona.

The cooking is less experimental than at El Bulli, though that only makes it more enjoyable for most people. There are still plenty of party tricks like magically appearing beetroot foam balls and a carbonara with gelatine penne that’s theatrically prepared table-side. A few classics, such as the foam-textured ‘bocadillo’ crab sandwich, have been maintained and others have been refined – the famous spherical olives are made with a cocoa butter coating here. Sublime.

There’s no à la carte option and with the full Festival menu, you’re in for nearly thirty of such sensory treats. Served at a comfortable tempo – neither rushed or leaving you waiting – it’s manageable, but there’s also a perfectly satisfying shorter version. Set aside around three hours for either. Somewhat surprisingly, there’s no wine pairing option but the wine menu truly caters to all tastes and budgets – even a few bottles below the 15 euro mark.

For all of the culinary showmanship, it’s a rather informal place. Set up on a shoestring, financed by personal savings, it’s always been about creating a food experience, not a fancy schmancy one. So, although competent and professional, staff is young, barely potty-trained, and casual. The space, while pretty, comes off better in photos than in person and is loud with noisy chatter. For a formal showoff dinner, ABaC or Moments may be better choices. For a special occasion with friends, do your best to get in a reservation here.