Photo by Patricia Esteve
Despite having just 14 seats, this pipsqueak of a restaurant is swiftly making a name for itself as a destination lunch spot among clued-in locals.
Chef Marc Casademunt takes a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach to his cooking and simply devises the daily menú according to what looks good in the market that morning. His charming partner Sònia Devesa works the tables and together they dish up an amazing set lunch for €12.45.
Book ahead or prepare to join the people waiting outside on the pavement—the only clue that something special is happening here. The place itself looks like it has barely been touched since its previous incarnation as the kind of bar where career chain smokers go to play the fruit machine. Decorative features include wrap-around plywood, those pastel-hued wall mirrors so reminiscent of Seventies’ hotel lobbies and speckled grey floor tiles. The only recent additions appear to be two flip-down tables attached to the bar, some leather banquettes with chocolate velvet cushions and some artfully soft lighting. In short, Blavis is not much of a looker.
The starters (you get to choose two out of the three on offer) come together on an oblong ceramic platter and might include a bowl of creamy warm vichyssoise with apple, a mixed salad with shreds of tender quail in escabetx or peeled and roasted aubergines seasoned with just the right amount of sea salt and drizzles of smoky chimichurri. Main courses were even better: a stack of vast and meaty glazed pork ribs with barbecue sauce and the most delectably crispy, crunchy onion rings I’ve ever tasted. The other option was a sculptural timbale of filleted and lightly grilled sardines impeccably laid top-to-tail over a round of trinxat de la Cerdanya (a Catalan take on bubble and squeak.)
Like the rest of the cooking, desserts are not complicated but perfectly executed: a lemon-infused bread pudding, foam of yogurt with red fruits and a punchy vinegar reduction or a stiff and silky chocolate mousse topped with walnuts. Well worth a visit.