Overall rating ★★★★ │Catalan│50 Eur pp│Gracia, Barcelona
Service: ★★★★│Food: ★★★★★│Location: ★★★│Price: ★★★│Portions: ★★★★
If you're seeking a gastronomic haven in the heart of Gracia, look no further than Fonda Pepa. Nestled within this charming locale, Fonda Pepa has become one of my absolute favorites in Barcelona, offering a delightful blend of culinary mastery and cozy ambiance.
The restaurant, once known as Cal Robert, underwent a transformation under the skilled hands of owners and chefs Pedro Baño and Paco Benítez. While the space is relatively modest, the addition of a leafy patio at the back provides an inviting extension. The decor is unpretentious, adorned with vintage details and quirky touches like the cool napkins, creating an atmosphere that feels both familiar and unique.
Dining at Fonda Pepa is a culinary journey that spans Catalan classics, unexpected Latin-American surprises, fresh seafood, and more. The open kitchen, equipped with a Josper oven, is where the magic happens, infusing each dish with a distinctive flair.
Adjacent to the restaurant, the owners have established Cansaladeria Pedro Paco, a shop offering the very ingredients that contribute to the restaurant's delectable dishes. It's a testament to their commitment to quality and a unique dining experience.
The restaurant's name, Pepa, is a playful nod to its chefs, Pedro and Paco, who have not only maintained the Andalusian patio aesthetic from the previous owners but have also injected their own creativity and charm into the space.
Fonda Pepa's philosophy revolves around the dynamic nature of a fonda, where every day brings new and exciting dishes. With a core menu of six classic offerings, the off-menu selections change regularly, embracing the ebb and flow of the seasons. The chefs take pride in working with locally-sourced, slow-cooked ingredients, a tribute to traditional cuisine.
One notable touch is the occasional appearance of guest dishes influenced by Paco's Mexican roots. Unfortunately, we missed the opportunity to savor these offerings as they were quickly snapped up by eager patrons.
The concise wine list at Fonda Pepa echoes the ethos of the menu, featuring 90% Catalan wines from boutique wineries with limited productions. Natural wines are sparingly included, ensuring they complement rather than overpower the culinary experience.
Food review Fonda Pepa
During my recent visit, the dinner lineup was a symphony of flavors:
Roast Croquette with Iberian Ham
The Roast Croquette with Iberian Ham at Fonda Pepa is a culinary masterpiece that tantalizes the taste buds with each delightful bite. The exterior boasts a perfectly crisp and golden shell, giving way to a creamy, flavorful center. The inclusion of Iberian ham elevates the croquette, infusing it with a rich, savory essence that lingers on the palate.
Marinated Sea Bass with Citrus
The Marinated Sea Bass with Citrus is a refreshing and invigorating dish that highlights the delicate flavors of the sea. The sea bass, expertly marinated, achieves a perfect balance between tenderness and firmness. The citrus infusion imparts a zesty brightness to the dish, creating a culinary experience that is both light and satisfying. This offering showcases the chef's ability to bring out the natural essence of the sea bass while introducing a vibrant citrus twist, resulting in a memorable and palate-pleasing creation.
Confit Cod with Cabbage Aioli and Wasabi:
Fonda Pepa's Confit Cod with Cabbage Aioli and Wasabi is a unique and adventurous take on traditional cod preparations. The cod, slow-cooked to achieve a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness, is complemented by the tangy notes of cabbage aioli and the subtle heat of wasabi. The combination of flavors is both unexpected and delightful, showcasing the chef's willingness to experiment with bold and harmonious flavor profiles.
Pumpkin and Chestnut Duck Magret
The Pumpkin and Chestnut Duck Magret is a hearty and comforting dish that brings together the earthy flavors of pumpkin and chestnut with the rich, succulent essence of duck magret. The duck magret, skillfully prepared, offers a satisfying depth of flavor, while the pumpkin and chestnut components provide a seasonal and textural contrast. This dish reflects Fonda Pepa's dedication to incorporating seasonal ingredients into their menu, creating a warm and indulgent dining experience that pays homage to traditional flavors with a contemporary twist.
Homemade Cheesecake for Dessert:
Ending the culinary journey at Fonda Pepa on a sweet note, the Homemade Cheesecake is a decadent and luscious treat for the senses. The cheesecake, made in-house with care and precision, boasts a velvety-smooth texture and a rich, creamy flavor that is both indulgent and satisfying. Whether adorned with a fruit compote or a drizzle of caramel, this dessert exemplifies the chef's commitment to creating a sweet finale that leaves a lasting impression. The Homemade Cheesecake at Fonda Pepa is a delightful conclusion to a remarkable dining experience, offering a perfect balance of sweetness and sophistication.
Each dish was a testament to the chefs' dedication to culinary excellence, showcasing a harmonious blend of creativity, quality ingredients, and skilled preparation.
In conclusion, Fonda Pepa is not just a restaurant; it's a celebration of culinary artistry. With its ever-evolving menu, warm ambiance, and commitment to local flavors, Fonda Pepa promises a dining experience that lingers in your memory. It's a must-visit for anyone seeking a taste of Barcelona's diverse and vibrant food scene.
Address Fonda Pepa: Carrer de Tordera, 58, 08012 Barcelona
Website Fonda Pepa: http://www.fondapepa.com/
Instagram Fonda Pepa: https://www.instagram.com/fondapepa/