The best restaurants in Barcelona for French cuisine
Au Port de la Lune has reopened in the Eixample. And although the new space might not have the charme of the old location in the Boqueria market, you'll still dine on great French cuisine. Their lunchtime menu is varied, with an excellent paté and steak tartare. At night, the menu offers a wider range of this menu, and you can feast on 'rillettes', patés, and French cheeses at a price that will make your wallet as happy as your stomach.
Caelis is not suitable for all pockets, but it does have an amazing sampling menu devised by the talented Michelin-star chef Romain Fornell. They have a lunch menu that includes two snacks, a starter, a main course, dessert and coffee. Michelin-star quality served in the spectacular setting of the Hotel Palace.
Gouthier is a restaurant located in old Sarrià, in a square that gives visitors an atmosphere of ancient villages. For years it’s been the standard for ‘bivalvos’, that is to say, oysters brought from Marennes, Normandy, Brittany, Ireland and the Ebro delta. But this restaurant doesn’t just survive on oysters. Gouthier is also a benchmark for gourmet tinned food, among them a magnificent cod belly, and a smoky monkfish liver with cucumber and wakame seaweed; there's also a selection of some of the highest-quality cheeses for the most discerning palate. At Gouthier you can close your eyes and travel to France for the small price of a few oysters.
Cafe Emma is the bistro of the moment in Barcelona. Two Michelin-starred chefs, Romain Fornell and Michel Sarran, have come together and entrusted their kitchen to Daniel Brin, who previously worked in the gone-but-not-forgotten Maison du Languedoc Roussillon. A true bistro, Cafe Emma offers a daily set lunch menu featuring traditional French cusine. Among their top dishes are the 'blanquette de veau' (veal stew), the punchy onion soup, the onglet with challots, the macaroni with lobster and the steak tartare.
Good news for lovers of French bistro cuisine: two Parisian entrepreneurs, Julien and Valérie Boillot, have set out to conquer the most discerning palates in Barcelona with their restaurant, L’Atelier. Their goal is to offer traditional French bistro cuisine that's simple, quick and very tasty. During my visit, I ordered from the well-priced set lunch menu, which doesn't feature every dish on the main menu, of course, but Vincent Tommasini, the young but experienced Catalan-French chef, promises there will be increasingly more options. On the regular menu, dishes that are worth special mention because they're so well-executed include the starter of duck rillettes – tender, well-crafted and served with excellent bread.