Although I like fish, I tend to prefer it raw than cooked. Generally speaking, most types of fish can be pretty pretty uninteresting when they are cooked. I know it depends on the fish though. For example, I find tuna to be my least favorite type of sushi, but I dislike it even more when it is cooked. It’s so dry and flavorless.
On this trip to Barcelona though, I realize what a difference it makes when you get really fresh fish that is very simply and skillfully prepared. My co-worker kept raving about this restaurant called Els Pescadors, where he sat outside on the plaza and enjoyed this enormous fish. I wasn’t that intrigued, but I would trust his palate, so I decided to tag along for lunch. I wish I had taken a picture of the place, because it really was very cute.
We ended up ordering some appetizers, but the real highlight was the grilled fish.
It came out served in this big cast iron pan, and then the waiter filleted and plated it for the table. We ordered the Gilt-Head, which I had never heard of, but the French translation was Dorade, which sounded familiar enough to me and the Frenchman. It’s officially called the Gilt-Head Bream and quite commonly found in Mediterranean cuisine.
The best part was really how simply and expertly prepared it was. The fish was amazingly fresh and unctuous. I’m pretty sure there was no additional seasoning added, but there was just enough flavor to highlight the fish itself while having it be the palate upon which the onions and potatoes could color the meal. The sweet onions and salted grilled potatoes seemed so simple, almost uninteresting, but it was anything but boring.
Overall, I really enjoyed the food here. I would highly recommend including a visit to this place if you’re ever in Barcelona. It also has a very locals only kind of feel which is very refreshing. It’s not inexpensive, but the fish is delicious that I think it’s pretty worth it. It’s a little hard to find though, because it’s located between very small pedestrian streets, so taxis have a hard time finding it. Nevertheless, it’s worth the trouble.
Plaça de Prim, 1
08005 Barcelona, Spain
PAFO Ratings for Els Pescadors:
Ambiance 3½ stars
Food 4½ stars
Overall rating 4 stars