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Tarragona dTapes tapas festival – Part Alta, chapter three

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We visit the upper part of the Part Alta in Tarragona, home of some of the best restaurants in town. There is only a few left before this weekend sees the end of another glorious edition of this great tapas festival and there are still much great offerings  to sample.

tarragona-dtapes-taula-rotonda2

We start at the Taula Rotonda with he perfectly executed  pincho / montadito: a slice of fresh bread piled with a generous slice of weal drizzled with a tangy home made waldorf sauce, touch of parmesan, and a pickled gherkin and tomato.

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Next is the Tecla 60 Restaurant with its “Tripleta Màgica”, a magic triplet indeed beautifully presented and  made of three different type of deep fried servings  contrasting beautiful with one another: we have romesco filling, sweet tangy pear and spicy shell to finish off.

tarragona-dtapes-galliner

The Galliner de l’Antiquari is a quirky place, you enter and are greeted by a an gnarled wooden statue of the virgin Mary (sin hands) and other kind of paraphernalia but let’s concentrate on the packed with flavour tapas entry: a “hamburger” made of duck and foie topped by a mini toffee apple and a sliver of crunchy cured ham.

tarragona-dtapes-el-llagut

El Llagut  in Plaça del Rei, is one of the best restaurants in town and an absolute favorite that uses sustainable ingredient and a slow food approach,  and there is little surprise to discover that their tapa is one of the most clean, original and unpredictable yet: very Nordic in it’s take. it  consists of a fillet of local peix blau, marinated and smoked, served with light salad of apple and cucumber with a touch of dill and a light saffron and mustard mayonnaise all served on a little slate. Very tempted to vote this the best so far…

tarragona-dtapes-cucafera

But let’s not linger for too long as there is plenty more to savour: La Cucafera, nested on the foot of the Cathedral has this little parcel or “farcelet” on offer, made of a cheese, nuts and rosemary melt and wrapped in a cured ham parcel served on a cracker. Chewy bliss.

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Ares Restaurant, situated at the far end of Plaςa del Forum, has CarillARES on the plate, a hamburger made of pork cheeks and iberico ham, served with a nice tangy sauce and roasted plantain chips, a crunchy sweet and salty combo.

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Lluna nova is a nice little cafe, hidden just off Plaςa del Forum. Their entry is  a perfectly balanced little parcel containing  a stuffing  of  Majorca’s slightly spicy Sobrassada, goat cheese which you dip  in a fine Membrillo jam. The whole is finished with two spring of lambs lettuce and and drizzle of reduced Ximenez  sherry vinegar.  A gem of a tapa.

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Across the narrow street, hiding at the far end of a little alley is the institutions of Les Coques, the local equivalent of Les Quatre Gats in Barcelona and an old traditional hangout for local artists and poets. There is a piano against the  wall, raised narrow tables, paintings and mirrors and old chairs and, high above, a mural with a dedication to the Old Poet Society of 1978.  Beneath the entrance floor is a cellar filled with cobwebs and ancient bottles, you get the picture.

Their contribution to dTapes is a mouth watering  “Canelons d’ alberginia amb anec” aubergine cannelloni filled with duck and topped wit a crispy cheese garnish.

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Lastly, right next to the Institute of Architecture,   is Restaurant Barhaus with their inner court filled with fragrant white wisteria. Their “… Amb llagostì Cric- Crak” consists of a tender, moist, gentle fried dumpling melt  made of cod, bacalao  and monkfish flakes ,  topped with the perfect  langoustine wrapped in a crunchy nest and served in a fish gravy so full of flavour to die for.

We may be staring at the contender for the Golden Fork , the ‘Forquilla d’Or’ and highest dTapes accolade but there is still one more stop on our tapas journey and this is the Serrallo.

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