Like most of the streets above Gran Via, the classic Eixample homes along Carrer Córsega are so plentiful as to seem commonplace. The first impression of the Windsor makes one believe it is fully aware of this and in not wanting to be brash, has nestled itself effortlessly into one of the old homes. Unassuming from the outside (at least in an Eixample manner) it quickly gives way to a gracefully understated taste and style that define the restaurant by seamlessly blending a 19th-century foundation with well-placed 21st century accents to keep everything fresh and invigorating.
Director and co-owner, Joan Junyent has been running the hotel for 17 years now and in 2012 helped direct a renovation of the interior that is now fully completed with the official opening of their newly expanded terrace this summer. This has increased their seating capacity for the main dining area to 120. This wonderfully pleasant outdoor dining space as well as the other dining rooms house a multitude of modern works of art and are kept full of diners thanks to the Catalan-centric dishes of chef Carlos Alconchel who, like the interior of the restaurant, has strived to mix traditional with modern to great success.
For those accustomed to the rough and tumble, tourist-oriented aspect of Barcelona's centre, the Windsor offers up an oasis of class and frankly, a breath of fresh air. Sitting down to dine one quickly finds a nearly unperceivable flutter of arms passing you carrying plates and drinks with the precision of a well-oiled, silent machine. The lunch crowd of suited men and women seem to barely notice their dishes passing before them as their conversations go uninterrupted.
For those of us not talking shop during our lunch hours, they've started their summer menu and these dishes should be taken note. A soup of shrimp and cor de bou tomatoes is adorned with a frozen celery puree that pairs sweetness with clean acidity to make for a refreshing starter. The plate of turbót is dressed with local mushrooms, asparagus, and a reduction sauce of vi ranci creating an earthy fullness from the woodland vegetables but no heaviness thanks to the fish. The main of lamb has been slow roasted for hours to a point of crumbling tenderness and is paired with fresh greens and radishes creating a similar effect as the fish dish, but wending its way towards the finale which is seen with the mildly sweet apple cake touched by the tangy tartness of the green apple ice cream for dessert. The old, Catalan base to all of these dishes is clear and prevalent, but the modern take elevates the dining experience from that of a basic farmhouse in the Pyrenees to the white tablecloth experience of the Windsor.
It should also be noted that in keeping with their theme, while the wine list has the requisite French and Spanish wines, it also features a wealth of local Catalan options which the sommeliers are quite familiar with and happy to serve.
While the summer menu (with prix fixe options running from €29.50-€99) and the terrace make the Windsor an attractive destination now, it's easy to see that Joan and Carlos' eye for detail and direction have made for a holistic and delicious offer that stays true to its roots and should be on anyone's dining list throughout the year.
Tel. 93 237 75 88