Up a narrow laneway off Carrer Jaume 1, Café de l’Academia is hard to find but well worth the effort. While we vary other restaurant selections on our regular visits to Barcelona, we always try to get to the Café (which doesn’t open on Saturday or Sunday and doesn’t take email bookings).
The standard of cooking here is consistently high, as is the service – and it’s quite reasonably priced. The menu offers a wide selection and now features the option of half-portions on many dishes, which increases the choices when it comes to starters or, indeed, facilitates a tapas-type approach – choosing several half-portions instead of the traditional 3-course dinner.
Being traditionalists, we went the 3-course route, starting with half portions of omelette with cod and beef carpaccio with parmesan. For mains my wife had rack of lamb – 4 generous loin chops which she said were among the tastiest she’d ever had. I had a mushroom risotto which was very good consistency and flavour. We finished with a Crema Catalana (crème brulee) and a lemon meringue confection and two good coffees.
With a good bottle of Aalto Ribero del Duero (€33.50), our bill came to €100 before tip.
This is a busy restaurant, popular with locals and now discovered by the tourists – so it’s advisable to book. They also do a very good “Menu del Dia” for lunch for about €14-15.
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