“Oh the joy” of finally lunching at La Pubilla. I have been meaning to get myself to this highly recommended Catalan restaurant for ages, after seeing an episode of chefs night out on youtube last year. Mikel López Itturriaga, author of El Comidista, talked about it serving the best menu del dia in the universe ( see video called Munchies Chefs night out on main page)

I arrived at 12:45 pm and got myself a nice little table in the corner, tucked under the bar which was perfect for spying and allowing myself to get into a complete food mess. Arriving early did not however, earn me the privilege of scanning the lunch options because the eagerly awaited lunch menu, is not revealed until 1:15 and not a minute before! By 1:20pm the restaurant was bustling with people and I overheard waiters asking whether reservations had been made. The unlucky ones were gently set to one side until they could make sense of the rush. By 1:30 the restaurant was in full swing.

Situated in Gracia the restaurant is small, unpretentious and focused on serving seasonal market fresh Catalan food. Each day a completely different menu is created so you really don’t know what they are going to surprise you with. You will though, get to choose from 3 starters, 3 mains & 3 deserts.

For my starter I went for the mussels. Mussels, pieces of white fish and potoatoes in a thick garlicky lemon and herb stew served with warm crusty bread. Perfect for a chilly day. It was seasoned really well but what I particularly loved was the stew had crushed almonds which gave the dish body and texture. The woman who was on the next table ordered a starter that looked divine. I believe it was medallions of pork in a jus with honey glazed apples, caramalised onions, garnished with a decoration of edible flowers. For main I ordered Bacalao a La Luna which is fillet of cod served on white beans in a smokey paprika oil, another great tasting local dish. Desert was a pear poached in red wine served with a cherry and cinnamon coulis and a blob of cream. Yum. I ate too much but am not one to waste good food. All that lovely tuck plus a glass of wine for a mere 14.00 euros.

La Pubilla is definitely a locals local hook up. The sound of “Eh tio que tal” and “Joder como estas” coupled with shoulder bumps and affection is lovely to watch. The staff blend well with the crowd & know how to make you feel welcome and do their best to get you a table. Good tasting hearty and earthy food presented well on a plate and great ambiance. The buzz of the place is really rather enjoyable! Reserve a table or get there early to avoid disappointment.

Pps I´ve heard they do really good breakfast too!

Average Price:  11-30 euros

Address: Plaça de la Llibertat, 23, 08012 Gracia

Web: www.facebook.com