Thursday, 24 September 2015

Via Veneto

Timeless gastronomy

Via Veneto

Operated by the father and son team Jose and Pedro Monje, Via Veneto is a 1 Michelin star restaurant in Barcelona that champions traditional Catalan fine dining which opened nearly 50 years ago. In some ways, Via Veneto is the Spanish version of Le Gavroche, very formal in a modest setting with a world class service team behind it. I was informed about the place when I dined at Lasrate two years ago, it was highly recommended by their staff so on my return to Barcelona, I knew I just had to pay Via Veneto a special visit with high expectations, as I have always been a fan of classical fine dining, after all, it is important to understand the past to know how the present/ future form has developed. 

lovely decor
Red prawns in Tartar and Lukewarm served
Tagliolini with eggs from calaf cooked at low temperature 
with confited black truffle from graus

We opted for "The Great Menu", which is a short tasting menu that features popular past dishes from the restaurant, with some dishes dating back from the 60s and 70s. We got off to a stunning start with the red prawns in tartar and whole form. The prawns were so sweet and fresh but even better was the tartar, it had a lovely soft texture with a fine set of seasoning and garnishes from the lime and carrot. Tagliolini with egg was an interesting pasta dish, very smooth and silky with the egg offering thickness and a richer taste, the dish was finished off with some confit black truffle to give it that earthy and luxurious touch. It worked perfectly with the bread as it would have been a crime to leave any sauce left on the plate.

Roasted duck the Via Veneto way
Classic at its finest
meat jus pressing
Roasted duck in its own juice “a la presse”

The signature roast duck was a fine example of how exceptional Via Veneto was capable of, the duck was wonderfully roasted with bags of meaty and earthy aromas, carved in front of us with the bone and left over meat which was pressed to create a meat jus. The duck tasted so refined, very moist and tender with the perfect seasoning, the jus was so rich and powerful that it beautifully enhanced the flavours of the duck, it was really a knock out dish. I was scratching my head on how come this place has only 1 Michelin star, as some of the dishes were truly breathtaking and are in fact, a lot better than some of the 2 star restaurants in London. The pre-desert of "Oranges Via Veneto" showcased some forgotten classical skills, with the waiter peeling an orange in front of us and leaving not a single patch of rind and seeds, his knife skill was seriously impressive.

Spanish and French cheeses
 "Oranges Via Veneto"...
...from Luís González's magic
Chocolate and hazelnut fritters with 
cocoa veil and Thai ice-cream

Dinner at Via Veneto was such a beautiful fine dining experience, I enjoyed everything about the place, from the outstanding cooking, charming decor to the classy, state of the art service. Both Jose and Pedro Monje were on the duty on the night to make sure all the guests were well looked after, and Maitre D Javier turned service into an art form which made us feel so special and provided such a memorable evening. Some people might find this kind of traditional restaurant is dated and dull, but not for me, Via Veneto is a timeless classic that takes you back to the glamour side of the Spanish 60s with the finest classical Catalan cooking that will delight your taste buds with joy. If you ever visit Barcelona and seek exquisite traditional Spanish cuisine, Via Veneto is the one.

Food 4.5/5

Head chef: 

Sergio Humada

What I paid: 

£100 per head with wine

Average cost without drinks and services:

Tasting menu: £90

Carrer de Ganduxer, 10, 08021 Barcelona, Spain

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