Berbena - Simple Sophistication
Berbena is a new restaurant in Gracia that caught my eye on Instagram already before it opened. The witty and hilarious captions on their posts and the music and food pairings were intriguing. I wanted to visit as soon as I could.
Berbena did not disappoint. The place is tiny with only a few tables and bar stools, but the open kitchen gives it a spacious feel. It actually feels like you are IN the kitchen yourself, which makes it quite a unique experience.
The seasonal ingredient is king here. The lunch menu changes on a daily basis depending on what’s available. You choose a main (from three different options) and two sides (from six options) and a dessert (three options). As the main course I chose skate with pumpkin and for sides beef tongue with leek and marinated carrot and parsnip. It might sound simple, but aren’t the best things precisely that? When you can take simple ingredients and create them into something extraordinary and sophisticated, then you know you are on the right path. And that is exactly what is happening in Berbena.
Our dessert was a fascinating pineapple sorbet with cheese shavings and pink pepper, refreshing and intriguing. I was dying to know what the sweet potato and honey dessert was all about, but I’ll cross my fingers that they still have it on the menu next time I’m there. They bake their own Nordic-style sourdough bread here to accompany the meal, and you can also buy it to take home with you. In the afternoon when lunch is over you can come in for a bite of bread, some cheese (they bring in exciting cheeses from near and far) and a glass of wine, or a matcha latte or coffee from SlowMow if you need to be caffeinated. In the evenings a la carte dinners are served.
There is an air of simple, straightforward sophistication in Berbena that makes it go straight to the best new opening this year so far for me. It checks all the boxes for everything I am looking for in a restaurant, no doubt.
C/ Minerva 6, Gracia, Barcelona.