By Javier Castillo - January/30/2015
Vinitus will not disappoint. As bold as this statement may seem, I'm confident in my declaration. Stemming from the same parent company that has several acclaimed restaurants in the city, such as Ciudad Condal and Cervecería Catalana, Vinitus follows the same quality and service mantra as its predecessors. Few places in Barcelona deliver on that promise and fewer still have eager patrons waiting in queues to be seated at their establishment on any given night. That's an indication of value and Vinitus is well on its way to achieving that distinction. In its prior life the restaurant was found in L'illa Diagonal - a shopping complex with heavy foot traffic but away from the more touristy areas of the city. At its new premises in the Eixample district - two streets away from busy Paseo de Gracia avenue - it continues to provide the same delicious, affordable tapas in a charming and warm environment.
What is unique about Vinitus, perhaps - as compared to the parent company's other establishments - is that many of their tapas are prepared on the spot. This is something that has been communicated to me from the friendly staff on more than on occasion and I've seen it at work. For example, if you ask for a "montadito de salmon" the server behind the bar will grab a mouth-watering cut of fresh pink salmon, carefully slice off a thick sliver, place it on a piece of warm toasted bread and add a few decorative toppings. Presto. Other savoury offerings typical of traditional Mediterranean cuisine that can be found on the menu include: fried cuttlefish, grilled shrimp, grilled and salted green peppers, lightly sauteed asparagus with mushrooms, cured ham - to be honest there are tons of selections and there will be few plates you will dislike. Let me walk you through my latest experience there:
Over an ice cold Moritz beer, I started off with a plate of Iberico ham, thinly sliced, buttery and nutty and accompanied that goodness with pan con tomate – crunchy toasted baguette rubbed over with a fresh tomatoe and adorned with a dash of garlic, olive oil and a sprinkle of rock salt. Next I moved on to the juicy grilled prawns, perfectly seared and seasoned. And lastly - one of my favorite dishes - four types of mushrooms grilled to perfection and varying in flavor, texture and color. All four were excellent. There was much more I wanted to try - and I will - but alas a stomach is only so big.
As for the interior space, per se, it has two floors and it appears a bit more modern and artistic than
its brethren restaurants, but that is rightfully so as there is a great amount of attention paid to detail as far as decor is concerned. For example, the design and shape of some seats by the door: champagne corks. Illustrations and graffiti-like images line some of the walls, and colorful tiles, polished wood and stone, and other whimsical and decorative patterns abound. This is a place certainly not to be missed and is already high on my list of favorite go-to joints.
Consell de Cent, 333
Barcelona, Barcelona 08007
Phone: 34 933 632 127
Open Monday through Saturday. Closed Sundays.
Mondays to Thursdays: 7.30 am to 12.00 am.
Fridays and Saturdays: 7.30 am to 12.30 am.