Speakeasy: Superior

Don't believe the hype. They'll let you in if you're able to pay the bill.

Don't believe the hype. They'll let you in if you're able to pay the bill.

Give it a try if… You want to spoil yourself, someone else, or both.

Steer clear if… You are not in the mood to play the V.I.P. game.

How do you turn something into something really special? One of the most clever ways is to put a lock on it. After all, in a male chauvinist society, any closed door becomes a saucy invitation. Me wants to entah. Me wants to make miiine. Urgh! Now, though, Mr. Man seems to have learned the lesson: that is how the same phenomenon that turned chastity belts into a miserably failed gimmick is currently giving birth to the successful fad of “clandestine” restaurants. Enter Speakeasy, hidden within the classic cocktail bar Dry Martini: so sexy that it quickly has become one of Barcelona’s worst kept secrets.

The Unlocker Gets Unlocked

Personally, I could not care less about all this. I guess as a – may I say gay? – well, gay man, my testosterone supply just does not respond to the manufactured allure of the “exclusive” tag. What I do care about is the service; the ambience; most importantly, the food. And luckily, beyond the marketing façade, Speakeasy stands out for delivering a superior experience in all three respects. That is a charm I simply cannot resist – so in I went (with the excuse of this year’s Barcelona Opportunity Week) and out I came, feeling terribly guilty; terribly bourgeois; and terribly fulfilled.

Great news: real substance beyond the show

Great news: real substance beyond the show

Chapeau!

Strangely enough, this dinner reminded me of the amazing meals at Le Signal, the French on-piste restaurant I mentioned in my previous post. Every course was equally well-conceived, forward-thinking and surprising: from the marinated salmon cube and mushroom truffle to the velvet crab soup with fennel parfait, from the touching roasted meat cannelloni (best I have ever had) to the sound duck confit, down to the exquisite vanilla & chocolate dessert, all details were impeccable – apart from one of the waiters, but hey, he must have been our pinch test to ensure we were not dreaming. Take note, perhaps for a special occasion. And may I please come along?

UPS score (Utmost Perfection Scale): 9-/10 + wow!

Speakeasy: Carrer de Aribau, 162 (Eixample Izquierdo) – BCN +34 932 17 50 80 – website

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