De lo mejor que se cuece en Barcelona
Next Thursday 23rd at 8pm we will celebrate the opening of the Christmas season
Very soon Barcelona will celebrate its Christmas light switch-on. It will begin the 23rd of November at La Rambla (Drassanes), where the city council will host an act in honour of the victims of the attack of August 17th.
Same Thursday, El Nacional will also welcome Christmas with a spectacular music and light switch-on show that will take place at 8pm. The centennial space will be decorated with ornaments inspired in a world of magic and fantasy.
The work done will be tangible among the passage that links El Nacional with Paseo de Gracia as in the interior of the restaurant, with more than 3.000m2.
Custumers will be able to enjoy a Christmas light switch-on with more than 450.000 leds that will be shining until the first week of January.
Can any beef meat be subjected to these processes?
The answer is no, not all meat can be subjected to a long ageing process without losing properties and becoming inedible. It is a process to which only old cow and ox animals, carefully reared and fed, can be subjected. Are we clear what they are? Veal meat comes from young animals, up to a year old, of either sex. Here experts warn that at this age veal from heifers is better, although this is not normally indicated when we buy it.
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In La Braseria of El Nacional Barcelona we serve a large selection of starters and meat, to have with salad or vegetable side dishes, and some basic fish dishes
This culinary space offers a very special dish for snails lovers.
Bover snails, “El Nacional”-style
Snails have become a very present meal in Mediterranean cuisine. They offer numerous nutritional properties and provide few calories, making them a healthy and nutritious food.
The meat restaurant of the gastronomic multispace located in Paseo de Gracia, has a special recipe dedicated to this product, baptized as Bover snails, “El Nacional” -style. Served in their juices, finished in the charcoal oven, which gives them a roasted touch, and of course, with the essential alioli garlic sauce. A banquet for those who don’t mind getting their fingers dirty or who do not want meat.
Gastronomy and history come together creating a unique and emblematic concept for the city
A place with many lives
With over 3,000 square metres of space, the restaurant is in a venue with a lot of soul. The emblematic building that now houses El Nacional Barcelona, was formerly used as a café theatre, leather factory, car dealership and a private garage.
In the last third of the nineteenth century, when industrialisation was in full swing, that the space that now houses El Nacional Barcelona, came to life. Official documents certify that on May 21st, 1870, the Teatro Español was inaugurated; a project carried out by the architect Antoni Rovira i Trias, winner of the municipal contest of the Pla del Eixample. As can be seen in the photograph: on the facade overlooking the Paseo de Gracia you could read the name of the theatre.
Unknown author. Old Teatro Español, at Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona, demolished ca.1900; projected by Antoni Rovira i Trias [graphic document]. Barcelona
The theatre burns down
On the 18th of November of 1889 the Teatro Español burned down. This incident devastated the theatre in the early hours of the morning. In 1892 the theatre was rebuilt at the hand of the architect Ramón M. Ruidor, but this time under the name of Jardín Español. Concerts, zarzuelas, opera arias, raffles, fairs, etc. were held there. However, the venue did not enjoy the expected success and finally closed in 1900.
From cultural centre to manufacturing space
Later, the space gave life to a textile factory dedicated to leather tanning for shoes: the Tenería Moderna Franco-Española. The building continued to have a very slim and light roof that was unique; made with brick vaults with openings by way of skylights.
In another of the lives of this emblematic building, it was a high-end car dealership.
Dealership. Photos of our own archive
From dealership to garage
It is said, although there are no documents that certify it, that after the Civil War the space where El National is now found was used by Barcelona City Council as a food collection point.
What is known with total certainty is that later, the building became a private garage and remained operational until November 2013.
Private garage. Photos of our own archive
Subirats Bureau and El Nacional; a turning point for Barcelona
In June 2013, Subirats Bureau, a conglomerate with more than 40 years of history, founded by Joan Subirats, together with the entrepreneur Lluís Canadell, created Ocio Gastronómico Barcelona, S.L. with the aim of recovering this emblematic space and make it of value for the city. Therefore, on October 25th, El Nacional Barcelona opened its doors.
Some meats require an ageing time in order to be able to eat them in optimum conditions. In recent years, a new trend has appeared that is turning this ageing of beef into maturation, over-maturation and even extreme maturation, which has generated a debate, but with an agreement amongst gourmets and connoisseurs: ageing gives the meat more flavour and texture, it provides nuances; it can be compared to the aged meat of Iberian acorn-fed hams.
When any beef animal is slaughtered, the meat needs a time for the rigor mortis to relax, which in the case of cows and oxen is at least 15 or 20 days. If the meat is eaten before this, it will be tough and leathery and a great deal of liquid will be released, because it will not have lost this during the ageing process.
Each restaurant or bar at El Nacional has its own personality and style and in spite of being such an extensive complex, each venue creates its own ambience, as may be seen on a first visit. However, there is a space that is not seen during a visit of this type, a reserved venue, exclusively for groups where the best of El Nacional’s extensive culinary offer may be savoured.
The decoration of El Magatzem simulates what its name means in Catalan, a warehouse, with a wall of wooden boxes, bottles and other elements to be found in a place of this name, located, obviously, alongside the restaurant’s central kitchen.
Cheese and wine make the perfect couple
Stories tell that in ancient times, when wine dealers offered their products to be tasted by customers, they always accompanied them with cheese so that the strong flavour prevented them from detecting any faults in the wine. This is where the Spanish expression “don’t let them give it to you with cheese” comes from, warning of a possible scam.
Paradoxically, wine and cheese form one of the best duets in gastronomy and this simplicity gives great moments of pleasure. Of course, to avoid undesirable clashes, it is best to be guided by the experts and this can be done at El Nacional’s Wine Bar, where an expert will advise customers on the best way to accompany the different wines, with cheese and cold cure meat cuts, preserves and salted fish.
Catalonian-style, slow cooked and with a touch of Alicante
Often we associate Spanish paella with the coast, because it is true that often the best rice dices are found in the traditional coastal towns, right by the beach. But here El Nacional is also breaking with tradition and offers one of the best fish and seafood paellas in the Passeig de Gràcia, in the heart of Barcelona, without having to go down to the sea.
A break to taste ‘cocas’ and other delicatessen
Located at the entrance to El Nacional, La Paradeta reflects in its name the intention of the designers of this gastronomic macro-space: a place to take a break, chat and relax whilst having a drink and some of the delicatessen dishes that are offered on its menu, on which the cocas and the mini pizzas stand out.
La Paradeta is the most versatile area in the complex, where you can stop and eat at any time, whether you are looking for a peaceful café, a place to eat quickly, a table to enjoy some mediterranean gastronomy, a corner to have a relaxed afternoon tea or a place for an after work drink.
We slip into the Beer Bar to savour the essence of Damm
El Nacional has a Bar of beers and preserves , an excellent beer bar to enjoy a pint of local beer, accompanied with delicious classic tapas of meats, cheeses, pâtés and delicatessen fish smoked. The menu consists of a wide variety of classic beers, artisan and import, and preserves, such as the special “El Nacional” seafood or the delicious artisan products.
Beer is, without any doubt, one of the most popular drinks in our country; therefore it should have its own space within El Nacional. And to give it form and content, the restaurant could only join up with a brewery with an extensive range, prestigious and with roots in Barcelona: Damm is the brewery used by El Nacional.