La Falconera specialises in traditional tapas and hearty, nose-to-tail stews despite its fashionable location in Barcelona’s Eixample.
Bite-sized review: La Falconera restaurant, Eixample, Barcelona
Trad is trendy again. Even so, there aren’t many places in the upper reaches of Barcelona’s Eixample that specialise in stews and similar rib-sticking market cuisine; Sergi de Meià is the only one that springs to mind. But La Falconera – Xavier and Miquel Luque’s small, new-ish restaurant here – is straight out of the old school. There’s a bar, a handful of tables, a street terrace and a tiny kitchen that turns out resolutely robust food. That’s not to say that La Falconera’s cooking is heavy-handed; on the contrary, there’s plenty of talent and good taste on display.
The big draw is the €15 menú del día. This is a stupendous bargain for the area and, as a result, the restaurant is usually packed with happy regulars. At weekends the price rises to €25, which is about as affordable a complete meal as you’ll find in central Barcelona these days, unless you’re prepared to ensnare yourself in a tourist trap.
La Falconera is a family affair and I visited as the guest of the youngest Luque brother, food writer Jordi. He isn’t a partner in the restaurant but he obviously knows it well and pointed me toward some of his favourite dishes.
The standout is an Olivier salad. Normally, I’d steer clear of ensalada rusa, a byword for mediocre bar food the length and breadth of Spain. But this isn’t the usual potato mush. Instead, fresh, crunchy vegetables, flaky tuna and a soft-boiled egg – oozing golden yolk – rest on a pool of sharp mayonnaise. Other staples include excellent bombas (another over-familiar dish I’d usually avoid but enjoyed here) and a mighty tiramisu. There’s usually some kind of nose-to-tail dish that will put hair on your chest, such as a cap-i-pota with beans, or a mar-i-muntanya stew of squid and meatballs. Grab a hunk of the excellent bread and mop up every drop.
La Falconera: Enric Granados 58, 08008 (Eixample); (+34) 608 804 923; Facebook page; Metro Diagonal/ FGC Provença; Closed Sundays
Find La Falconera on the FoodBarcelona restaurant map.