So I previously wrote about Carles Abellan’s fine dining restaurant Comerc 24 – now it is the turn of his tapas bar project named Tapas 24. It is located close to Barcelona’s shopping boulevard Passeig de Gracia and offers modern or just high-quality interpretations of tapas classics. For coming straight to the point: I loved it! Not only are these tapas made of top notch ingredients, but the added tweaks and twists elevate many of the dishes. If you’re in Barcelona, just go there! You won’t regret it!
Tapas 24 is located in a basement and is conceived just like a bar with a main counter, an open kitchen behind it and a dozen high tables throughout the room. There is a non-formal feel to it and a colorful, joyful and passionate vibe. There are many tourists, but I can also spot a few locals. Anyhow, this shouldn’t be part of the judgment.
There is a permanent menu with tapas classics and a changing “tapes del dia” menu.
We ordered only a few tapas dishes at the beginning, but ended up ordering nearly the entire menu as each dish triggered more curiosity.
Tremendous start with the “Bikini Comerç 24” . If only all sandwiches tasted that good. The most simple soul food you could imagine with crunchy toast, warm and melting cheese, ham and the addictive flavor of truffles.
Croquetes de pernil iberic – warm and delicious ham cream filling for this fried Spanish classic.
Bomba – a bomba is basically a croqueta with a round shape and much larger, with more potato and a core of cooked meat. It mostly comes with a spicy sauce on top.
…if I remember well, this bomba was filled with minced veal. A good one.
Spit of lamb flavored with curry and fresh mint. Entertaining variety, especially when you share all these tapas, as we did!
Coca amb tomaquet: Sardina marinara – Stunning one. Tender sardine with crunch underneath (coca) and crunch on top (marinated onions), with sweet acidity from the tomatoes and salty acidity from the vinegar as well as herbal freshness on top. Again an addictive combination!
Llenties cuisades amb xorico – Nothing out of the ordinary but a well executed, heart-warming dish!
Tacos de cochinita pibil – another one from the day’s specials menu and we’re heading to Mexico for some delicious tacos.
Ceviche de corvina – off to Peru now. I liked the idea of having ceviche as finger-food. Nicely marinated bits of corvina with all the lime, cilantro, spice you would expect.
Presa Iberica amb Chimichurri – It seems I’m in a better mood with each new tapa. This one’s another peak. Pan-seared beef topped with an awesome mix of herbs and spices, ranging from cilantro to oregano, herbal and earthy, with bits of dried tomato as well. A feast for any palate!
Rabo de toro – braised ox tail: a nice one, but nothing out of the ordinary, lots of fat of course, but you know that before ordering. Gimme that chimichurri again!
Xocolat amb pa, oli i sal – A simple yet perfect dessert. Rich chocolate mousse topped with salt and toasted bread and drizzled with delicious olive oil. A combination you have to try!
Tapas 24 was a genuine highlight of our short stay in Barcelona. Funnily, I’d even say it was the better experience compared to Carles Abellan’s fine dining restaurant Comerc 24, which we’ve visited a few days earlier. Just love the idea of getting the best out of casual tapas, even trying to make really good basics, as the croquetas. And the specials, even though they’re mostly inspired by non-Spanish/non-Catalan dishes, are all successes.
Also, the 3 house wines offered by the glass are great and there’s a wine list offering a great selection for every palate and wallet (see picture below). Well, don’t think about it too much, just go there!