Tapaç 24

14Feb16

If one was to name a chef who has left the biggest global culinary impact on modern gastronomy, it would be Ferran Adria. Although his infamous El Bulli restaurant has been gone for nearly six years now, Adria’s eccentricity and knowledge have been disseminated across all five continents by his former apprentices – one of them being Carles Abellan.

Tapaç 24 has been my favorite restaurant in Barcelona for several years now. It is a small, simple, basement restaurant owned by Abellan that is bustling with patrons elbowing each other while tasting some of the most delicious Catalan dishes. It is also the only restaurant where I had everything off the menu in one seating, and where I shall always return.

When Chef Abellan decided to open Tapas 24 location in Montreal, I was overwhelmed with joy. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to eat at the restaurant during my weekend trips to Montreal, I finally got an opportunity last New Year’s Eve.

Restaurant Tapas 24, Montreal

Restaurant Tapas 24, Montreal

Tapas 24 Menu

Tapas 24 Menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The restaurant design with its contemporary lines and Catalan accents is an adaption to North American standards, while the menu touches slightly on Quebecouis cuisine with fois gras and game meat selection. But what truly interested me on the menu were the typical Spanish dishes. Croquetas and bombas are done exactly as expected – crunchy from outside, soft and slightly chewy from inside, with the right amount of spiciness coming from chorizo. Neither chorizo nor jamon iberico were disappointing. In-house pickled salad surprised me because it was served with fresh raspberries. It’s tartness balanced the sweetness of tender braised beef and mashed potatoes. The only disappointed was a squash dish that did absolutely nothing for me. The server said that it was the closest dish to a lentil with chorizo stew, which is served in the Barcelona location, but she was wrong. Very wrong. Just like a fairytale with a happy end, a good meal needs to finish with a chocolate dessert, which in this case was filled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. This was a perfect way to end 2015 and start 2016.

Tapas 24, Montreal

Tapas 24, Montreal

At the end of the meal, I realized that it might have been wrong of me and my friend to compare Tapas 24 in Barcelona and Montreal. But we could not help ourselves. Just as Romans say that the water in Rome makes pasta taste differently, perhaps it is the subtle saltiness of Medittereanean air that makes me prefer the Barcelona location. Nevertheless, for those who may not get a chance to eat at Tapas 24 in Barcelona, the Montreal location is definitely a place to visit.

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