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Spain Dinner

Barcelona, July 14, 2021

Summer dining at the Reial Cercle Artístic

" a celebration of friendship that united us no matter what »

On July 14th our Bailliage resumed in-person dining events in Barcelona, Catalonia’s capital, second most populous municipality of Spain. The first in-person event anywhere in the National Bailliage since February 2020 was in Madrid on July 8th.

The venue, the Reial Cercle Artístic, is an institution dedicated to the promotion of art - a wonderful history-rich environment founded in 1881 recognized in 1916 by King Alfonso XIII with the title of “Royal Artistic Circle”.

The institution is currently housed in the Pignatelli Palace, a beautiful building in front of Barcelona’s Cathedral. Gastronomy being as important as art at Reial Cercle Artístic, there are four different places to eat:

- The Library for those who want modernised Catalan cuisine
- Las Cuatro Estaciones where you can enjoy art and good food
- Japanese bar La Barra, watch Chef Taka prepares your dishes
- El Jardín, an oasis in Barcelona’s busy-ness, enjoy best Mediterranean cuisine and cocktails

El Jardin was the choice of Bailli José Félix Bentz i Oliver for this summer dinner, at which we of course followed all COVID-19 safe precautions. It was nevertheless a celebration of friendship that united us no matter what.

Gastronomically we travelled around the Spanish and Italian coasts sampling Mediterranean cuisine harmonised perfectly with selected cava and wines.


Fennel and burrata salad
Kalamata olive, sun-dried tomato, lemon vinaigrette
Cava Grandalla de Luxe Rosé
by Jaume Giró i Giró (in magnums)

Oven-baked wild sea bass with potatoes and peppers
Trossos Sants D.O
Montsant, Tarragona, Catalunya, Spain
[A white wine made from Garnacha Blanca]

Tender baby lamb shoulder
potatoes, tomato and onion
Viña Lanciano Reserva, D.O.C. Rioja

Tahitian vanilla millefeuille
caramelised puff pastry, cream and vanilla ice cream
Cava Reserva Familiar Barón Merten 2011
by Jaume Giró i Giró

Chaîne member Frank Thomas Merten, and oenologist Eva Martín, told us about the cavas. How we like to listen to professionals at our dinners!

Many thanks to those who joined us from other communities to enjoy this dinner. In particular, thanks to David de Castro, Bailli of Andalusia, for travelling all the way from Seville.

“Good food, good drink, plenty of good energy” summarises our night which we hope to repeat soon.

Vive la Chaîne!

César González
Vice-Conseiller Gastronomique
Bailliage of Madrid

Photography by César González

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