Arcano Restaurant – dining within ancient Roman walls

ArcanoBar-Restaurante Arcano
C/Mercaders, 10
La Ribera – Born

There is nothing nicer than to feel at home in your neighborhood, and for our visit to Barcelona, that neighborhood is the Barrio Gótico, or Gothic Quarter, occupying the area that was once the Roman settlement of Barcino.  There are remnants of the walled portion of the ancient Roman colony to be sene still today.  One place is the very inviting Restaurante Arcano, where the ancient stones of Rome make up the walls of this softly lit restaurant.  Coming in from the bright sunshine of Barcelona on a June day, it is especially pleasant to dine in the cool shadows of ancient stone, in a space that is, at the same time, warm and welcoming. 

Arcano offers a very tasty fixed menu at lunch time, which is known as the Menú del Mercado.  We see no reason to stray from the daily specials, although their regular menu is extensive, offering an array of temptations, including Argentinean beef. I choose the salad with goat cheese and apricot jam, while my husband selects the chickpeas sautéed with butifarra negra, or “black sausage,” a very typical dish in Catalan cuisine that is based on the ancient recipes of a Roman sausage.  Arcano’s version contains nuts, dried fruits and herbs and is very flavourful.  We follow with a meat dish and a plate of sea bass, both excellent. 

Over a dessert of coconut cake with apples and walnuts, we plan our afternoon.  Within walking distance are the exquisite Gothic Cathedral, known as La Seu, and the simpler, yet evocative Santa Maria del Mar.  Both merit a second visit.  And there is the Picasso Museum.  After all, this is the part of the city where this great artist lived and worked.  Not surprising that he would choose this quarter – it is still a neighborhood of designers, painters and artisans.

Arcano - Huevos Estrellados WEB Arcano - EntrecoteArgentino WEB Arcano - Ensalada de Cabra WEB


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