Monday, February 6, 2012

Cafe de L'Academia in Barcelona

 I had read numerous accounts on how wonderful the food was at Cafe de L'Academia.  If you can believe it, they are only open Monday thru Friday for lunch and dinner.  Never on Saturday!  Located in the Placa de Sant Just, a Catalan Gothic church is on one side of the plaza, the restaurant is on the other with Barcelona's oldest Gothic fountain right next to our table.
The plaza has some interesting history to it.   It was the set for the Parisian marketplace in the 2006 movie, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.    And in 1924, Antoni Gaudi was arrested in this plaza as he was attempting to enter the church for speaking Catalan (forbidden by the military dictatorship of General Primo de Rivera at the time).  Later that day, a friend of his came to the jail to bail him out.
With time to kill before the restaurant opened, we checked out the Sant Just Church.
 A really different church inside and one that is not often visited by tourist.
This altar piece of Christ's Passion, 1530, was quite elaborate.
Lucky we had found the restaurant before they opened and were able to reserve a table outside.  Good thing we did, it filled up immediately and people were being turned away.  
There were two cold soups on the menu.  I thought I had ordered just the one soup, so you can imagine my surprise when I was served both.  I love this concept.  The soup on the left was a Gazpacho.  The other, a carrot vichyssoise garnished with a dollop of pesto and shavings of Parmesan cheese.   Both were excellent.
Len had seared foie gras on a bed of sauteed onions and potatoes that was topped with a perfectly poached egg and a generous piece of Jamon Iberico.
For my main entree, I had to have the dish that they are so well known for, Risotto with Foie Gras!  Talk about sinful.  The risotto also had huge grapes that had been cut in half and caramelized  (at the bottom of the dish).  This was the half portion.   There was no way I could have finished a full one.
Len had perfectly cooked rack of lamb and it was a generous serving.
It was a beautiful lunch, great setting and the prices were very reasonable.  We enjoyed it so much, we went back for dinner two nights later!  Reservations are a must.

Cafe De L'Academia
Calle Lledo 1
#93 319 8253    

Note:  Many of the guide books say it is hard to find.  Not really.
Located in the Ribera district.
At Via Laietana and Carrer de Ferran, go west on Ferran.
I believe the second little street on the left is Lledo.
Follow that to the plaza and you will find the restaurant.
Buen Provecho.

No comments:

Post a Comment