Comerç 24, el Born, Barcelona, Spain ****

Comerç 24, Barcelona, Spain **** the premium version of tapas
So often packed at dinner time, but I’ll gladly recommend it for lunch. Just tell your
cabbie to take you to this address, the old salting house at Carrer del Comerç 24.

The center of the action: The Comerç 24 kitchen
Chefs at the Comerç 24 are unable to fake it as you may always keep an eye on them…

A Comerç 24 classic: Consommé with truffle, parmesan, and egg.
A Comerç 24 classic: Consommé with truffle, parmesan, and egg.

This is what the food looks like at Comerç 24. Not bad.
Japanese Kobe beef; one of the seven tapas of the tasting menu appropriately named Festival.

How do you keep it up?
It can’t be easy to run a restaurant that has been so talked about, so written about and so hyped. In 2001, Carles Abellan opened Comerç 24. Since then there has been a war going on for the few seats that this rather small place in el Born. I’ve fought in this war several times myself and I’ve lost and won. Getting a table feels like winning on the lottery. This is after all the brainchild of a chef who successfully plublishes his own cook books – most notably “Las Tapas de Comerç 24”.

It’s just lunch but…
…the restaurant gets filled up quite quickly. Despite not being starving I go for the seven courses tasting menu that someone with a sense of humour named Festival. Perhaps it sounds corny, but it works. Chef Carles Abellan’s nine years of training under Ferran Adrià of el Bulli is often mentioned in reviews. Adrià is known as the most innovative chef on the planet and some of that genious obviously spilled over to Abellan, because it is a simply astonishing meal. Atmosphere and service is not completely up to par with the food but eating here of course means that you’re dealing with a very competent organization.

Just save some space for dessert.
I’m quite impressed. Every course is better than very good. Standing out are the now famous Abellan interpretation of the Kinder Egg, along with the Kobe beef and the different kinds of cheese. Plus: The dessert is a magic little collection of ‘sweet tapas’. Quietly remind yourself to add three extra miles next time you are going running and enjoy the moment. The next time in Barcelona, I will try to fight my way to a table for dinner. Not five stars, not this time… but highly recommended.

Comerç 24.
24 Carrer del Comerç
El Born
Barcelona 08003


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