Best Barcelona Experience - 2010
Contigo Kitchen + Cava
One of the highlights of a trip to Barcelona is searching its bars, cafes, and restaurants for the best small plates in the city. Contigo, a Catalonian-style wine bar and restaurant in Noe Valley, streamlines the whole process. Traditional tapas like olives, anchovies, cured ham, and bacalao (salt cod) complement chef Brett Emerson's frequently changing selection of jazzier California-style creations: fava greens with pine nuts and golden raisins; grilled squid with chorizo and allioli; a luscious pork-belly bocadillo (sandwich) on brioche; sardine and avocado crisps from the wood-burning oven. A glass of amontillado sherry is the cuisine's imperative accompaniment, and there are four dozen Spanish and Portuguese wines to choose from as well. Sipping, nibbling, and chatting at the bar of this friendly Catalonian outpost, the desire to decamp fades quickly.