My request for a press lunch is approved at Dos Pebrots (in Catalan two peppers represent the crown jewels, so to speak) and I excitedly roll up and meet my co-diners, all igers, some with five-figure followers. I feel decidedly uninfluential. The renovations are typical, exposed brick and right angles, an open kitchen. There are a few nice touches, mismatched vintage crockery, and a few lame ones, zany phrases on the wall, overbranding by Estrella.
Having crushed it for some time round the corner at the dope Dos Palillos, the Adrià-approved Albert Raurich has engineered a deconstructed menu, the culinary equivalent of removing the mystery by explaining the process of each dish from its historical background to ingredients to eating instructions. They hook us up with a set tasting menu, which is great because the carta looks like a stocks page. The recipes that follow are not for the faint-hearted. A smiley pig statuette belly-up serves as a plate for actual porcine nipples. Rabbit kidneys in sherry. Both at odds with my pescatarian leanings, but the rest of the table make DIY kebabs. They dig it. Alternatives find their way to the table in creatively macerated fruit on a bed of ice, four home-pickled anchovies, very tender and juicy leeks in beer, fennel and honey, bbq spuds with potent alioli, a pine nut omelette cooked at the table and flavoured with the ancient Roman garum, fluffy and crisp empanadas and miniature bonito sliders. I can’t wait for dessert, and it turns out there are two: ice cream and figs with grated turrón, then fresh yoghurt with fluffy meringue and loads of mint leaves.
Coffee and then I have to shoot straight off. I feel like I did a sinpa, I’m not used to being invited places. I calculate that the selection of elaborate historical tapas would have set me back around 50€, plus drinks. I feel thankful and unsure if I would return on my own steam: it seems a bit steep for fairly simple plates, and despite the noble concept of a historical menu, the slick touches of decoration and design feel a little forced. I wonder what I have to not publish to be invited to another one of these free feeds.
• Carrer del Doctur Dou, 19 • 08001 Raval • 938 53 95 98 • dospebrots.com