Tuesday, 10 November 2009

A Treat At Tapioles 53

Delicious pan-fried salmon, asparagus & tomato.

Tapioles 53 is a fairly expensive place to dine out - or rather is was until a few weeks ago. Up until then Sarah Sothart cooked up whatever she fancied every evening to a strictly reservation-only clientele, using ingredients from Barcelona's best markets, often supplemented by produce from her parent's farm out in the Catalan countryside. As a result of these great ingredients and enviable kitchen skills, Tapioles 53 has an excellent reputation, and given the €50-per-head-forgetting-the-wine price-tag it it has been one of many places on our nice-to-try list almost since we came to the barri.

That was until a few weeks ago when we realised that as well as offering coffee and cake, there was a menu del dia on offer. Cheapskates that we are, we've taken advantage of this golden opportunity three times now, and have been consistently impressed at the quality of the dishes. The menu is €9.90 incl. IVA, three courses and a glass of wine or beer. And there's usually a small plate of olives or other nibbles thrown in free.

Every time we've ordered white wine, which is a deliciously autumnal Mas Collet which is also available at €2 per additional glass.

Below are some of the dishes we've tried - the availability of which will completely change on a daily basis. I urge you to check out this culinary treat as the restaurant seems to have very few customers in the middle of the day, and it would be a shame it Tapioles 53 went back to an evenings-only operation through a criminal lack of lunchtime interest.

Main course: Pork loin wrapped in bacon, topped with mustard mayonaise, and served with chips.
Verdict: moist pork, crispy bacon, creamy-sharp mayo and outstanding fries.

Starter: Mozzarella, maize and tomato salad. Verdict: marinaded buffalo mozzarella really raises this salad's game, whilst a great dressing ensures an instant classic.

Main course: Pork and wild mushroom stew. Verdict: Don't let the appearance put you off. This rustic combination is quintessentially Catalan and great insulation against the winter chill

Starter: Rigatoni bolognese. Verdict: How easy is this to get so wrong? Just check out my review of the Café Picornell  to find out. No problems with the Tapioles version, however.


  1. Muchas gracias por la información!! Soy del barrio pero los mediodías no suelo estar por aquí. Sólo conocía la versión 50€-porcabeza-sinvino de Tapioles 53 y me alegra saber esta nueva oferta de menú diario.
    Felicidades por el blog!

  2. De nada Núria. Estoy feliz que encuentres la critica util.

  3. Para mí también ha sido muy útil esa información, aunque hace varios años que vivo en el barrio, no conocía alguno de estos lugares, los probaré.


  4. It was really helpful to find out more about what lies behind the doors at Tapioles 53. We rushed to reserve for a lunch-time menu after reading this article but sadly it was to be no more. Apparently it was a trial run over a few weeks. Hopefully more people will enquire and they will resurrect these midday sittings.

  5. Hi Emma -thanks for your interest. Yep it's a real shame. We went a couple of times more, and there were surprisingly few people taking advantage of such great food. As you say, hopefully they will resurrect the menu del dia if there is enough interest. Meanwhile, I suggest you check out some other great places in Poble-sec - see other postings on this blog for details!