In the words of Heraclitus, 'There is nothing permanent except change', so don’t be afraid of it. The Bolero Bar, formerly L’Alegria, has transformed from an ambitious gastronomic restaurant into a brilliant tapas bar, where you can fill your boots for less than €20. Lito Baldovinos from the La Confiteria group explains the change of heart, 'We have gone for something more simple, more direct, but it works. It's the perfect place for family and friends, where you can go have a drink, and eat well in under an hour if you want.'
I can vouch for that. For just €18, I tucked in to three dishes, a dessert and some good wine. The variety of seasonal wild mushrooms at the time I was there was phenomenal, and served as a starter with a low-temperature egg. Next I had melt-in-your-mouth octopus with potatoes – happily very straightforward, as sometimes flourishes are there to hide an inferior cuisine. As if that weren't enough, I went for the house 'bikini' sandwich (usually just toasted ham and cheese) of stewed veal and smoked scamorza cheese. Which, by the way, almost knocked me out because we're talking about four triangles of bovine goodness, amounting to two bikinis really.
Other hits are the made-to-order 'tortillas' (omelettes) – the one with cod looked so good I nearly jumped right into it – and small, stripped-down dishes that have proven to be popular, like the tomato salad. Although the style of the restaurant has changed in terms of the food, the philosophy among the chefs and the staff is still the same, and now the cooks also work in the dining room so they can explain the food preparation better.
In the transition from L'Alegria to Bolero, they focused a lot on the exquisite interior design, with wooden waves and takes on Spanish pop and kitsch (see the clippings from 'Hola' magazine featuring Julio Iglesias). Everything has a practical use, however, like the cutlery being kept in the table drawers. To paraphrase the Rolling Stones, it's only a bar, but I like it.
|Venue name:||Bolero Bar|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thu 12.30pm-2am; Fri, Sat 12.30pm-3am; Sun 12.30pm-2am|
|Transport:||Les Corts (M: L3)|