Our experience at dinner last night was a co mplete 180 degrees from our dinner the week before. We tried to go to RAmbla last week, the new Spanish restaurant in the International House, but it was closed the first half ofhte night for private parties so we walked over to John Besh's LUke. I know many people love Luke and Ican't say that I actually hate it. The food is always good, give or take a few dishes but Golly, I relly hate beign there. I feel like I am living in the 70's and sitting in a Holiday Inn Motel Diner. It's bright and dull and what's even more odd is the lack of attention to detail. I always have to remind myself that it's John Besh's restaurant. I then wonder how it can be when considering that the focus on the details at August are so extreme that it's almos snobbish and at Luke the focus is nonexistent. Anyway, enough about Luke. Let's ramble on about Rambla!
From the start they were nice and accommodating and excited that we were theree. I will say it now so I won't have to say it again. Everything was delicious. Most dishes achieved a perfect balance of flavoris with a few exceptions so I will just share with you what we ate.
Once everyone was there (Uncle Rara, Aunt Jojo and Cousin Will) and settled and our wine was ordered we went to town on the menu. The idea is to share the plates and order the dishes as you like. It all comes out pretty quicly so you can order a few things. If and when you want more you can order it without having to wait. There is a constant flow of food.
Here's what we ordered:
Avocado, tomatoe, red onion salad (no avocadoes here)
Croquettas - 3 separate one filled with mushrooms, shrimp and fennel and andouille. All purees.
Grilled octopus salad (not bad for someone who doesn't like octopus)
Grilled flat bread with figs, Serrano ham and Cabrales
Frog Legs - Rara ordered this and it had been awhile since I had eaten them. Cousin Will wouldn't try them. The taste was good but it's the consistency...blah. The conversation over the frog legs went like this:
Rara: Tastes like chicken
Will: But...well, it's not chicken
The tuna special salad -perfectly seared chilled slices of tuna over a fresh fennel salad
Chicken paella-crusty, al dente and deliciously smoky but next time I would opt for the seafood one. The chicken grossed me out.
Lentils, lardon and yard egg ( I don't want to try and elaborate because I cannot do it justice)
I would go back tonight and tomorrow night and then again the next night. I can't wait to got with a big group of people to sit at the high communal tables. It was fun and cozy and relaxing. I didn't pay too muc attention to the total bill but from what J told me it seemed awfully reasonable for the maount we ate and considering we left pretty full and satisfied.