Barcelona: Quimet i Quimet

March 4th, 2011

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When I put out the bat signal requesting recommendations for where to eat and drink in Barcelona, no less than four friends insisted that we try Quimet i Quimet. The small wine shop in the Parallel district is famous for its tight quarters and it’s wonderful selection of tapas.
The talk of its small space certainly made me hesitate. I’m not partial to being bumped and jostled at every turn, but given the word of some of my most respected food geeks, I had to go. We went for a late lunch and actually found plenty of room.
We weren’t super hungry, so didn’t get that much – although I could certainly have kept gorging myself just because it was all so good. Check out the courses after the jump.

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There was only one small menu in the entryway, which we glanced and and guessed a bit about. In the end it was the man behind the counter who did most of the choosing for us.
On display were any number of interesting and tasty-looking items, many of which I couldn’t identify.
We started by asking him about some slices of meat that looked a lot like jamon. When he said it was beef, we almost declined, but the counterman insisted and told us that he stacks it on bread with a number of ingredients I didn’t quite catch and truffle oil. That did it.
It was amazing and we immediately needed another.
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We also ordered boquerones, which have become a favorite of mine since I’ve begun trying to eat more fish. They are small, white skin-side fillets of anchovies with oil and vinegar. Between the strong flavor of the fish and the tang of the vinegar, I could snack on them for days.
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Next up was a cheese plate, which was fascinating for the variety of cheese included, full of funky and powerful flavors and scents. It was also so big that it nearly killed our appetite before we could try anything else.
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We managed one more course – smoked salmon on bread topped with cream cheese, honey and a bit of balsamic. It was the best bagel and lox either of us had ever had – without the bagel! One of these days! I’ll have to give the combination a try at home.
In the end, I wish I’d had enough room to spend another several hours grazing there, but decided that this was just going to have to be a destination for my next trip to Spain.

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