A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit L’Atelier, a relatively new French restaurant in Pau Claris. I had passed by before and thought it look interesting with a beautiful decor, but I hadn’t explored it further.
From the outside L’Atelier looks like a (beautifully decorated) bar, but once you go inside and pass the kitchen there’s a fresh open space that opens up and serves as a space for lunch and dinner. The decoration of the restaurant has that Pinterest-perfect industrial touch, without taking it too far. By the way: have a look at the art on the walls! The owners are huge animal friends and the photos depict different kinds of adorable animals.
But, let’s talk about the cuisine. Good French cuisine is not all that easy to come across in Barcelona. In L’Atelier the focus is on very good, fresh ingredients, even the bread is especially sourced to be perfect.
For the wine lovers out there make sure you check out the wine list. A lot of effort is put into a good selection of local and French wines, and for the lunch menu they’ve picked out specific wines (by glass) to go with the food. I loved the wine pairings we had with our dishes.
So, what did we eat? We had a menu del día and started off with a tuna tartare complete with tomato and avocado. Considering it was a starter it was quite a big portion! It was beautifully presented and very tasty. I had a piece of the above mentioned bread too and it was SO good. Fresh and "fluffy".
The main course was a show stopper: salmon with turnip and carrots. The salmon had been marinated and it was so tender, and topped up with dill and butter, as it should be considering we’re talking about French food here. But it was very delicate, without feeling too heavy at all. I was instantly transported to my Scandinavian roots and I felt like a kid again (I'd say Scandinavian moms and grandmothers are the super-users of butter, together with the French). It was truly fantastic, the tastes were so subtle and balanced on the palate.
And we obviously have to talk about the dessert. I chose the Tarte Tatin and didn’t expect much. But I should have, this dessert was The Bomb! Tarte Tatin usually bores me to death with a lot of boring flaky pastry, but this was far, far away from that. It had a thin nutty crust, plenty of soft, warm, juicy slices of apple topped off with a dollop of ice cream and pistachio. And obviously caramel, too. It was perfection!
The team in the kitchen consists of young professionals, of which some have worked in Michelin-star restaurants. They put in so much love into their dishes, they want them to be perfect, and you can certainly feel this in your gastronomic experience. There is nothing like food that has been prepared with a warm heart. The staff is very friendly and helpful, and it’s a pleasure to visit the restaurant. Do check out the bar too, I’ve been told that there are some killer cocktails to be had there!