I have followed Steve Tallantyre's FoodBarcelona blog for some time. FoodBarcelona combines great writing style with thorough reviews of many Barcelona restaurants. I read his blog faithfully because he reviews restaurants I've been to and liked, or restaurants that are on my radar. He helps me arrange restaurant itineraries for clients–an invaluable service. He is in Barcelona, on the scene, and is entirely up-to-date on the restaurant scene.
I am reposting his recent review of Tram-Tram in the Sarria district of Barcelona, because Tram-Tram is one of those hidden-away places you might never find were it not for a kindly nudge from a well-connected local like Steve.
Next time you're in Barcelona I hope you can reserve a table at Tram-Tram and avoid the masses of tourists found elsewhere in the city. They won't be up in Sarria at Tram-Tram. What they're missing!
NOVEMBER 27, 2015
Under the media radar and off the beaten track, this elegant and accomplished Sarrià restaurant is well worth seeking out.
Review: Tram-Tram restaurant, Barcelona
It’s fair to say that Tram-Tram does not rely on passing trade. Located on a narrow street high in the uptown Barcelona neighbourhood of Sarrià, near the end of an old tram line – hence the name – it requires a purposeful stroll from the nearest station of modern public transport. Make the effort, however, and you’ll find a restaurant that’s thrived for over 20 years despite its location far from the madding crowds of tourists.
The interior is a tasteful conversion of a sprawling townhouse, with a labyrinth of rooms and a beautiful terrace. Smart artwork hangs on the walls and there is a general atmosphere of understated elegance. That is also as good a way as any to describe the cooking of Tram-Tram’s chef Isidre Soler who runs the restaurant with Reyes, his wife and Maitre d’. An alumni of elBulli, from the days before it became a world-famous “technoemotional” laboratory, Soler cooks classic, ingredient-led French-Catalan cuisine of a very high standard, and he’s trained some of Barcelona’s most celebrated chefs here, inclusing Sergi Torres of Dos Cielos.
I last visited a couple of years ago and gladly returned in October to see how things had changed. Fortunately, the answer was “not much”. Tram-Tram sits in that often-overlooked category of restaurants that are forever in the Michelin guide but aren’t deemed cool enough to be considered for a star. Forget the red book and listen to me instead: Tram-Tram is a treat.
There’s a lunch menu for €30, which is an accessible route to try the restaurant out. Stretch to €39 and you get the tasting menu; to €70 and you’ll enjoy the “festival” menu, where Isidre cooks up a storm of whatever’s best that day. À la carte, main courses are around €23 but 3/4-sized portions are also available. Wine by the glass is €3-€6. It’s not an inexpensive restaurant but this is the kind of cooking that puts your money where your mouth is, with premium ingredients at the centre of its dishes.