Next to the Cinemes Girona and opposite the seemingly endless queue at the Japanese noodle bar Ramen-Ya (ya in Spanish means ‘now’, which is ironic because it takes ages to get served there), a couple of years ago Marta and Sergi decided to open a small family bar. The premises had previously housed a rather dull bar, and they decided to inject some soul and feeling into the place to make it their own. The first thing they did was take down the stucco that covered the walls (no small task). Next they did up the bathroom, changed the door and hung a beautiful late-19th-century mirror above the bar.
Marta’s parents once owned the nearby Betlem delicatessen (found on C/Girona on the corner of Consell de Cent), so she already knew the area inside-out, and was well versed in top-quality gourmet products. Marta studied oenology and later worked at the restaurant Cata 1.81 on C/València and she’s brought everything she learnt to Gilda. You can order a truffled ‘bikini’ (which in these parts means a toasted ham and cheese sandwich as well as a two-piece swimsuit) that’s so good customers snatch them out of the servers’ hands (they’re made with truffle butter, ham and Manchego cheese), salmorejo balls (salmorejo is a cold tomato soup typical of Andalusia, thicker than the more well-known gazpacho; the balls are made with cherry tomatoes, an injection of salmorejo and an anchovy) or ‘pig coca’ (herb mustard, two pork medallions, tomato caramelised with basil, and onion sprouts). These are all inexpensive delicacies that you can pair with a glass of classic Yzaguirre vermouth – with syphon – or, if you’re taking things a bit more seriously, with a half-sized G&T (€3.50).
At lunchtime, they have a set menu that includes a salad or soup to start, and a main that is basically Catalan comfort food (meatballs, cod, tripe stew), bread, a drink, dessert and coffee, all for €8.90. The price-quality relationship is excellent. They do their own version of patatas bravas called ‘the devil’s drum’ (el timbal del dimoni), which features sweet potato Parmentier with a slice of black sausage (bull negre) and spicy sauce – delicious! They change the menu every season so that they always stay fresh. They’re creative and enthusiastic, and it clearly shows – clients leave happy, they tell others about it and come back themselves. A treasure worth hunting out.
|Venue name:||Bar Gilda|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thu 10am-midnight; Fri 10am-1am; Sat noon-4pm, 7.30pm-1am; Sun closed|
|Transport:||Verdaguer (M: L4, L5)|