After producing its fair share of top chefs such as Ferran Adrià at elBulli and the three Roca brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi, of El Celler de Can Roca, Spain has spawned a new generation of young chefs who are making a name for themselves with gastronomically brilliant yet affordable cuisine at their burgeoning restaurants.
Husband and wife team Iván Castro and Ana Merino have been attracting Barcelona’s food-enthousiasts to their cool little gastro-bar in the uptown Eixample district since 2013. Castro effectively runs Mont Bar and Merino takes care of the food. And how! After working with top Catalan chefs Carles Abellan and Carme Ruscalleda she now shows her own exciting, creative style with a variety of tapas and small dishes from traditional to vanguard cuisine, based on Mediterranean classics with Asian twists. The menu changes with the seasons, products are always fresh, local and organic and the bar offers 250 wines. Wines from around 6€, small plates from 12€, tapas 2-7€. Carrer de la Diputació, 220, 08011 Barcelona, Tel 00 34 933 23 95 90 www.montbar.com
In the remote valley of Carranza, the Basque country, you will find an unpretentious family restaurant in a tiny town; Casa Garras. Its food however is of grander stature. Created by young talent Txema Llamosas, the delicious tapas and small dishes are enjoyed downstairs at the bar whilst upstairs seasonal dishes like local sirloin steak with wild mushroom foam are served. The chef’s impressive resumé includes experience working with both Adrià and Arzak, the two greats of Spain’s gastro-revolution. Try the amazing 10-course, 62€ tasting menu or the 44€ menu. Barrio Concha, 6, 48891 Concha, Bizkaia, Tel 00 34 946 80 62 80 www.facebook.com/casagarras
Alberto Lareo is another super-talent, having worked with an impressive line-up of some the world’s best chefs; Toñi Vicente, Eneko Atxa, Marcelo Tejedor, Jacques Maximin and Jean Françoise Piege, and now in charge of Manso, opened in 2013. Manso’s location in Galicia near the coast guarantees the freshest seafood, but Lareo also uses quality Galician beef, and wild mushrooms and organic vegetables grown locally. Lareo’s experience in France is evident in his meticulous presentation; Fried octopus with potato foam and paprika caramel for 14€, Hake in green sauce, cabbage, green asparagus and clams 18€, or Roe deer with cereals and cheese 18€. Gastronomic menu 50€. Avenida de Villagarcía de Arousa, 21, 15706 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Tel 00 34 881 95 96 57 mansorestaurante.com