Monday, May 2, 2011

Ohla Gastronomic Restaurant & Bar - Barcelona

My first review recounts my recent Barcelona visit for their annual lindy hop event Barswingona (April 22-25). When I wasn't busy dancing during the evenings at the Casino del Poblenou, I was wondering the streets of Barcelona most notably on Ramblas, Catalunya, and Passeig de Gracia.

Rounding a downtown street corner near Passeig de Gracia on Saturday, a menu caught my attention. Gastronomic was the key word. Fresh take on Spanish tapas it was delivering. The meal was fantastic, amazing food porn picture worthy, and quite affordable. This was the Ohla Hotel's Gastronomic Restaurant (note: I planned this blog after this trip, so it isn't as thorough as I'd like).

The meal started with a meat cannelloni featuring whipped truffle butter. You can see a croquette in the background also. Each can be purchased individually. This was followed by a selection from their menu's egg portion. Simply beautiful, there were two eggs, asparagus, fine bellota ham and light black pepper. Eat slowly, cherish the flavors.

I'd like to point out one very notable aspect, their open kitchen. They have ample bar seating so you can watch the chefs work. Both images are from Easter Sunday. I was the only person there for quite some time.

Naturally, when the one waiter mentions an a la carte pork shoulder that isn't on their menu, you say yes. I waited approximately 15 minutes, but they kept me sated with house roasted almonds (paprika and two other spices). Do you see the chef on the right? He's applying the sauce/rub for the 4th time. Here is that delicious creation. The pork fell off the bone nicely, the sauce was savory, and the portion amazing. Knowing the quality of Spanish pork, eyeing the portion size, I was a bit monetarily concerned. 8 Euro. Fears alleviated, Ohla's praises sung again.

As I was exiting the lobby Saturday, I saw the edge of a bar. Tucked away to the right of the concierge desk, is a bar ran by one Max La Rocca. Black, glass, simple quadrilateral wood highlight this sophisticated bar. Read the menu and you know you're in good hands. Quotes from the Savory Cocktail books, award winning drink concoctions (citations included), both simple and inventive ingredient combinations. Saturday I reveled with the Teasing Bee, Max's award winning 42 Below cocktail featuring ginger (yes, I'm a ginger fanatic). This drink won him a place on Ireland's mixology team when they represented at the world competition in New Zealand. It is a light refreshing drink, perfect for a hot afternoon.

Sunday's return to the bar was amazing. This is the El Condre, Max's take on the classic Negroni. It features Beefeater 24 gin, Carpano Antica, Cynar, maraschino cherry. The second image is of their edible negroni shots with crystallized orange. That was my afternoon before the pork shoulder.

This video was shot my third time there, late Sunday evening. I and 3 other friends rushed from Pobleneu at 1:37am in a taxi to make it there by 2am. We made it, had two amazing drinks each, edible negroni shots, and this amazing smoke infused shot. There was dancing to the Palmetto Bug Stompers, there were hat tricks performed, and we closed Ohla Bar that night! Enjoy the extra pictures below. More drinks, guest appearances from Elias (an awesome Swede) and Jo Hoffberg (dancer extraordinaire).

Drink Suggestions:
El Condre (a twist on the classic Negroni)
Madama Baudelaire (a wonderful absinthe based drink, notice the pictured drink with star anise)
the gold dusted mojito.
Ohla Hotel, Via Laietana, 49 - 08003 Barcelona - Spain

1 comment:

  1. That egg and ham dish looks fantastic. Too bad it wasn't green.