OK, you can judge for yourself, but the food, service and atmosphere (both inside and out) make this the ideal place to meet friends or have a romantic dinner for two. Located northwest of the Barri Gotic in the Eixample, Ciutat Comtal (Ciudad Condal in Spanish-but remember, you are in Catalunya) is a restaurant and bar that is always busy, especially around supper time. And with good reason – its tapas are out of this world and its outdoor seating on Rambla de Catalunya offers a wonderful dining experience. Spain has great weather, so why eat indoors when you can take it outside? There is an English menu, but you may have to ask for it, otherwise, the staff is very friendly and will do their best to help you navigate the menu – whether in English, Catalan, Spanish or German.
If you get there before supper time (that’s 9pm, folks), you may get a table right away. Anytime after that, you may have to wait. This is not a bad thing. Rambla de Catalunya is a pedestrian friendly boulevard, so there are plenty of benches to sit on and watch the people walk by while you wait for the host to seat you. Also, the waiters are more than happy to bring you drinks until a table opens up. (Hint – you can’t go wrong with their sangria.)
Once at your table, order some more sangria (c’mon, it’s Spain) and then take your time with the menu. Their specialty is tapas, which are small plates of finger food, but oh, so much more. The idea is to share. Everyone orders a few things and your table gets to enjoy a little bit of everything, instead of a lot of one thing. Place your order with the waiter and sip your sangria as the tapas trickle out from the kitchen. Ham is Spain’s specialty, so anything jamon on the menu is going to delicious. Pescatarians can munch on calamares fritos (fried octopi) and vegetarians (and everybody else) should try the patatas bravas.
Thing get busy after 9pm, so if you don’t want to wait for a table, go early. If you find yourself nearby for breakfast, Nostrum is next door and is delicious.
Tapas + Sangria + eating outside + Barcelona + Spain = awesome