There’s a chance (a small one, mind) that after a few days in Barcelona, you could get a little tired of tapas. I mean, you probably won’t (I could eat cod croquettes ’til I turn into one), but in case you think you might, I’ve found a perfect alternative for dinner. Krèsios BCN is a fancy pants restaurant in the Mercer Hotel, a stone’s throw from El Born, so in a great part of town. Simply put, it’s a hidden gem. Down the most modest of backstreets, concealed in a hotel behind the lobby and courtyard, it's charming; all white cloths and historical cave-like surrounds, and very intimate, in fact it can’t seat more than 30 people. Michelin starred Chef, Giuseppe Iannotti is at the helm of the kitchen. He’s an Italian native, hence the break from Spanish tapas here, and he’s a PRO at creating exciting, creative takes on traditional dishes. Ed and I polished our shoes (well, made sure our trainers weren’t muddy) and headed in for the most sublime 15-course tasting menu.
Now, a foreword. These beautiful pictures obviously aren’t mine. I did my best to take pretty pics of each of the million amuse bouches, plates, and palate cleansers but frustratingly, had my camera pick-pocketed on the way back to our hotel. HOW ANNOYING? All of the pics from the incredible dinner — not to mention the rest of our Barcelona pics, and skiing, grr — gone. But thank goodness for press pics, eh?
So it goes. Ed and I sit down and are instantly brought sparkling wine (Spanish, of course), along with a tiny piece of carrot on a metal skewer that wobbles in front of our mouths. We laugh (I mean, it’s a lot for a tiny piece of carrot), but we grow to be thankful it was such a tiny piece….15 courses is a lot. Without notes, no pics, and a lot of wine, I’d struggle to talk you through every single bite we ate, but I can tell you there weren’t any bad ones and a LOT of good ones. And just as we thought we must be done, they’d dish up another. It was incredible.
Ed said his favourite was the beef tongue, whilst I loved the deconstructed mackerel I had (deconstructed in that both the body and the fishbone were served separately on my plate!), and also the spring pea and mussel risotto, which was so rich and flavoursome. The ‘fish and chips’ seemed a bit random on the menu (hello, we can get that on our street at home) but when it arrived it totally made sense: it was one tiny piece of battered fish, with a pea puree and one crisp. So in case you were wondering, that is how Michelin starred chefs do fish and chips!
There was a vodka-oyster situation, whereby one of the waiters rolled over a cocktail trolley, to make a cocktail, using the oyster water, for my oyster to sit in. It was mad, and very cool (though I didn’t dare tell him I didn’t like oysters, so I can’t tell you how that one went! Also! A wonderful rich spaghetti, that was literally no more than a perfectly formed forkful, so had me pining for more.
The only dish we didn’t rave about was the 'Tribute to Kentucky tobacco' dessert, which was rather unusual and very strong in flavour. Though not to my taste, I am pleased to be able to say that I’ve no tried tobacco-flavoured ice cream, so it’s no bad thing.
All in all though, our dinner at Krèsios could not have been better. It was some of the best food we've ever eaten, in the most charming of surroundings, and with impeccable service. We went for the Mr Black menu (€125 excluding wine), but there's a slightly shorter Mr Pink menu too, plus the option to order à la carte. I'd definitely recommend you try it out if you're in Barcelona. At €125, it's brilliant value for the experience you're getting.