When is a restaurant not a restaurant? Les Tres a la Cuina (Sant Lluis 35, Barcelona, +34 931054947, Facebook page) in the Gracia district of Barcelona has only a couple of tables and is set out more like a shop but it still represents an interesting choice for those wanting a quick, light lunch.
The brainchild of a Mexican-Irish friendship comprising Mariana Gonzalez Pie and Anna O’Flynn, LTalC (as I shall refer to it for the sake of my fingers) has now been running for eight months. It’s a small, smart space with an interesting selection of wines, beers and gourmet products for the discerning Gracia foodie.
Once inside you’ll find a display featuring the dishes that go into the €7 set menu (drinks not included) which you can eat at one of the tables or take away. They also provide a catering service for parties and events. The focus is very much on seasonal and (where possible) local ingredients. While I was there they received a delivery of vegetables from La Casita, a business that delivers produce directly from smallholdings and farms around Tordera.
That’s reflected in the dishes that are on offer which are all what I’d describe as honest home cooking with an emphasis on freshness.
I had a spinach and cheese pastry to start, followed by a half-portion each of quinoa & avocado salad then a particularly impressive combination of rice noodles, pak choi, apple and peanut. It’s not fine dining or high gastronomy but it’s excellent everyday fare.
There are plenty of vegetarian choices to keep the non-meat eaters happy and some more robust dishes like lasagne to fill up grumbling carnivores. At €7 it’s great value although drinks obviously aren’t included in that price.
If I worked in Gracia, LTalC would be a regular haunt of mine. It’s friendly, fresh and great value. I don’t think it’s worth a special trip to the area but if you’re around for the Festa de Gracia or a day’s shopping, it’s certainly worth a visit.