Il Giardinetto is frequented not only by those with great palates who know quality when they taste it, but also by romantics as well as those nostalgic for a Barcelona of days gone by. Recently the place has been slapped with a makeover to modern it up a bit to accompany the excellent work the kitchen staff has always done and continues to do. Chef Jesus leads the team with his Italian cuisine, and notable fresh pastas that are made by hand daily. There is also, of course, a range of pleasing dishes created by young chef Sergio “Chiqui” Millet.
One offering that’s not always on the menu (so do ask) is the paglia e fieno tagliolini al pomodoro, which many an Italian restaurant would love to be able to prepare and present with fanfare. We tried some of Chiqui’s creations in the bar, such as the Iberian egg roll, one of the star dishes: a type of round bread roll filled with ham or sausage and a free-range poached egg that does a magnificent job of topping off the dish. We then tried the parmesan rocks – two chunks of the king of Italian cheeses shared a plate with mortadella, bresaola and breadsticks.
We followed that with a delectable lentil salad, but it was the spicy tuna tartare that earned itself the most gushing compliments of the night. Two glasses of house red accompanied the light dinner, and three fruit skewers with warm chocolate sauce topped it all off. Our digestion was then aided by G&Ts and pisco sours. The kitchen closes at one in the morning, and you’ll always find Pere at the piano in the evenings.