This last friday was my second visit to Anfiteatro, a marvelous little restaurant in Barcelona’s Olympic Village. This area is particularly full of tourist chain restaurants, pandering what the unassuming traveler would deem “authentic spanish cuisine”. But not so….what you get is mass market food that has little to no quality, banged out in less than appetizing fashion. If you cross the road from the two towers (Hotel Arts and Mapfre building) you will find this gorgeous and tranquil spot, where from the moment you enter you feel like you are in another city completely.
Anfiteatro is a small, inviting space, with large windows overlooking a water fountain and pond. You are greeted warmly and taken to your table and immediately you can just sit back and relax and let the night roll out in a wonderful way.
As usual, we had the tasting menu, and every bite was delicious.
To start off we had a cold pumpkin cream with rosemary sorbet.
Then we had prawns in a parsley sauce.
I love this presentation. The prawns look so in love! The delicate taste was balanced well with the parsley oil. Prawns here in the Mediterranean have a more “briny” taste than our American counterparts. Ladling them with sauce would do them a huge injustice.
Our third appetizer was an Avocado, Salmon Roe and Shrimp cocktail.
This was by far my favorite dish of the night. The colors were beautiful, and the addition of the Salmon Roe transformed this dish into what would be an entirely creamy puree, into bursts of ocean flavors. I am not sure what the puree on the bottom was, but to me it seemed like a very lemony and light hummus. I was yearning for seconds!
Our starter was Lobster “Ravioli” with a Shellfish Beurre Blanc.
Ravioli is in quotations, because this wasn’t actually pasta….this was very thinly sliced cuttlefish that was wrapped around the lobster to make these mouth-watering morsels. I love the innovative way in which they presented a classic. It was extremely light, and the filling was dotted with crispy veggies.
And finally, our main was a Slow braised beef with Crispy Pan-fried Potatoes
I absolutely adore demi-glace. It needs to be used much much more, and it is often overlooked here in Spain because of all the molecular gastronomy, thanks to our local chef/scientist Ferran Adria. I am more of a classics girl, I want to eat food, not have it in a bubble or a foam, or air….. The beef was fork tender and juicy, and the potatoes were just perfect, crispy but not oily at all.
And finally, our dessert was a Mascarpone Cream with Raspberry Sorbet.
This was a perfect dessert to our meal. It was sweet without being overpowering, tart enough to counter balance the creaminess of the mascarpone. All in all, this was a splendid meal, that was not too heavy, but just enough to make you full.
If you are wandering through the Vila Olimpica and don’t feel like getting swindled by “El Rey de La Gamba”, cross over and try Anfiteatro. Definitely worth it.
Parc del Port Olímpic Avinguda Litoral, 08005 Barcelona
+34 659 69 53 45