This venue is closed If I'd known that Bar Local - a place I pass by pretty much every day - is the smaller brother of Els Pescadors, I would have taken a seat at a table there much sooner. It should be noted that there's nothing really to be said about its appearance; just a white building in Poblenou, not far from the Rambla, on the left. When I finally visit, I'm joined by Marc Maulini, son of Els Pescadors.
The opening of this place in late 2016 next to old blocks of public housing came about due to a desire to work once more for the neighbourhood: 'For the cooking and price,' says Maulini, 'Els Pescadors isn't any longer just a neighbourhood place but has become a gastro spot in Poblenou.' Although it has to be said it's still more affordable to eat at the restaurant that his family took over years ago than in the covens of velvet and dinner jackets found in the upper part of town. From the initial desire to create a local bar (serving tapas and a daily lunch menu), it's turned into a 'paradigm of a refurbished bar, polished, simple and unpretentious, that places great importance on the food'. That's because Roger Nassarre, in charge of the kitchen, works with the same quality primary materials than in the original venture. 'Our providers are the same as at Els Pescadors. And there's nothing that's not first rate or any half-baked products. We make the croquettes and we freeze them,' he explains.
Bar Local also functions as a reaction to the 'Barcelona menu, which nowadays is full of tartares and tatakis,' he jokes. Even though in the menu there are some signs of the spirit of our present times – salmon cubes, eggs cooked at a low temperature – what reigns is cooking that used to be found in local homes and is now only found in very old or very new places; an excellent pig's ear (with a crunchy layer on top of the jelly part swimming in romesco sauce), tripe of cod with beans, and beef cheek. The lunchtime menu (€12.50) always comes with a light starter and a main dish for which you can choose two of four side dishes. We have a supreme albacore with the choice of mashed potato, grilled vegetables, seasoned tomatoes, and lentil salad as accompaniments. At Bar Local, dishes such as mashed potato and salads are taken very seriously, with a flavour that is highly defined, good and carefully done.