Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Barcelona: Restaurant recommendation - Les quinze nits

Before leaving for Barcelona with no plans or itinerary, I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to treat myself to at least one nice meal out during my trip.  Treat yo' self!

While on one of my free walking tours in Barcelona our tour guide recommended one of the restaurants in the plaza, adding that we could probably afford to eat there too: Les quinze nits.  

This restaurant is part of a cooking school, so culinary students cook the food.  For that reason, their lunch menú del día was 9.40 euros (other restaurants in the plaza had menus of the day for 15+).  In Madrid I don't like to pay more than 10 euros for a menú del día, so I mentally added this restaurant as a potential lunch option for one of the following days.

Monday ended up being that day, and I went to the plaza bit early (1.30) to beat the lunch rush.  

A typical menú del día consists of 3-4 choices for a first course, 3-4 choices for a second course, and dessert.  A drink may or may not be included in the price.  I love menús del día here because you never leave hungry, and it's a whole lot easier to pick between only three or four items, rather than an entire menu (carta).  Those of you who have seen me struggle choosing from a full menu at a restaurant, or panic last minute and change my mind when it's time to order can understand why I appreciate menus of the day here in Spain.

Here's a picture of the menú del día that Monday:

Water or 1/4 wine, and bread were included in the price.  I easily found one item from each category that stood out above the rest.  I quickly got in line for a table, and didn't have to wait long at all.

I got a table outside on the plaza!  It felt a bit weird to be seated solo; I don't think I've ever eaten alone at a proper dining establishment before.  I wasn't sure to do with myself as I waited for them to start bringing out the food.  Would it be impolite to pull out my kindle and start reading? I wondered.  Rebecca, look around you.  This is not the right environment for that.  Ok fine, I'll just eavesdrop on everyone seated around me.

Can I take pictures of my food?  Or will that make it really obvious that this is a special meal for me?

I was already eating alone, and felt as though I stuck out like a sore thumb.  Psh, heck yes was going to document this!

Since I really don't like olives, I wished at this moment I could have instantaneously delivered them to Hannah or Izzy, my olive-eating gal pals.  I started munching on the bread until the first course arrived.

First course: "Galets" con salsa de tomate y albahaca

The second course combined three of my favorite things: meatballs, curry, and rice.  How could I not order it?

Second course: Albóndigas con salsa al curry y arroz
By now I'm feeling a bit of the wine, and don't know how I'll finish the rest with just a dessert to go.  I don't like to waste food, so I may or may not have texted Hannah at this point to assess the situation...

My three dessert options were: coffee flan with cream, fruit skewer with chocolate, or toffee cake with toffee sauce.  Flan with cream was definitely out; my stomach would not have appreciated that.  The chocolate with fruit would have been good, but again, the stomach may not have thanked me later.  So I ordered the toffee cake, worried that I probably wouldn't enjoy it.

Dessert: Toffee cake with toffee sauce
I was wrong.  It was absolutely delicious.  A fine end to my "treat yo' self" meal.

As I left Les quinze nits, with a full and happy stomach, I passed a rather long line of people waiting for tables to have lunch.  Glad I went early!   

The line for tables as I left the restaurant.
What: Les quinze nits
Where: Plaza Reial, 6 (Barcelona)
Metro: Liceu, Drassanes
Price: Lunch menu of the day is 9.40 euro, tax included.  Check out their website to see other options.
Hours: El menú del día is served until 15:45.  I'd recommend going early (13.30), otherwise expect to wait in line for a table.


  1. Schweet!
    I'll definitely try it next time! Looks great for that prize :)

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