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Nou Celler

It was only my second short visit to Barcelona, and I had been disappointed by many of the restaurants I had visited on spec. Nou Celler ("new cellar" in Catalan) was recommended in the AA guide, largely on the basis of its value for money. My friends Patrick (Irish) and Theodore (Greek) agreed that we would take a punt on it.

Nou Celler is conveniently located a couple of minutes' walk from Jaume I metro station, in a street that could almost be described as dingy (in a characterful continental way). Entering the dimly lit, wood-panelled, split-level restaurant, we immediately felt at home. Having been shown to a table, we were attended to promptly although the restaurant was very busy (full of locals). My much-needed Tio Pepe arrived within a couple of minutes, followed by two delicious starters: a salt cod salad, the fish as delicate as a ceviche, piled with peeled raw tomatoes bursting with flavour, and a Catalan omelette containing what I suspect were truffles. Theodore's paella was dark with squid ink, rich with seafood, fragrant with saffron; Patrick and I, however, did not regret our choice of Catalan chicken braised with prunes in a dark, winy gravy. All this was accompanied by a crisp salad featuring, inter alia, more of those marvellous tomatoes. Our bottle of Vinya Sol, priced at a remarkable 8 euros, was placed in an ice bucket. The Catalan version of creme brulee was a perfect marriage of crunch and gloop. Englishwoman, Irishman and Greek were of one mind: this was superb cooking.

Our bill came to a mere 32 euros, although we wondered later whether we had been given someone else's by mistake. When, by common consent, we returned for lunch the next day, it was twice that; but we did drink rather more wine.

By: Emily Morris

More Info: Metro: Jaume I.Open 8 am till midnight.Address: Calle de Princesa 16.Tel: 933 10 47 73

Address: Calle de Princesa 16
City: Barcelona
Phone: 933 10 47 73
Added: November 24th 2004
Reviewer: Emily Morris
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