Coverage at Bar Raval for the American Express dining experience contest winners. This was an intimate dining experience for a handful of lucky card holders.
What is Bar Raval?
Our title entity was born from our journeys within the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona. An eclectic spread of people from many different walks of life converge in Raval, producing unique interactions and enriching experiences that will live within us forever.
What’s the vibe?
We’ve put our hearts and souls into designing a lively and intimate space which promotes a convivial-style of enjoying food and drink accompanied by timeless music. It’s a cozy room here, encouraging the potential to meet new friends, sharing moments and the physical space with sound minds and open arms.
According to Grant van Gameren, tables and chairs are so two years ago. After topping this list in 2013 with Bar Isabel, the Spanish-influenced charcuterie Jedi went on another Iberian vacation. He returned home convinced that seafood preserved in tins tastes amazing, that bar snacks are more fun stacked atop bread and skewered with a toothpick, and that both are ideally consumed standing up at a bar, cheek by jowl with strangers.
While we wait for the house-smoked mackerel – briny chunks carefully fitted into a tin like suitcases in a car trunk – I can’t resist running my hand over the mahogany bar and gawking at the walls, a sinewy tangle of nuevo art nouveau. Barman Mike Webster pops a plastic gadget in the top of a bottle of Basque-country Bere cider and shows us how to pour it from on high into a tumbler, aerating the drink a mouthful at a time.
A new rush of hungry bodies surfs us over to a wine barrel in the middle of the space. Tapas and pintxos (stuff on a plate vs. stuff on bread) find us anyway: fat cubes of tangy Manchego, a creamy-saline shrimp bisque slathered atop a baguette round, and a plate of acorn-fed jamón. The sweetbread bocadillos are tiny sandwiches smeared with yellow mustard, and I find myself fighting my friends for the last morsels.
I imbibe cocktails from time to time during the afternoon, but have an aversion to being heavily influenced by alcohol… do you have options for me at Bar Raval?
Yes. All the way yes. We have produced a thoughtful spirit list which consists of many different Sherry and Vermouth options to pair exquisitely with our food. Our “low-octane” cocktail options are perfect to sip on comfortably, ensuring the levity you feel upon leaving will be related to the energy you share with us, and not from the consumption of alcohol.