Trapella means menace in Catalan as in “Dennis the…”. Cal Trapella was opened by three friends Pau, Idan & Alex. Alex is the chef while Pau takes care of service in the front.
It’s a small restaurant decorated with straw blinds in the style you would find on the windows of old fashioned farms. There is a strong sense that this is a restaurant that was built by the three friends, probably with the help of more friends and a good dose of family thrown in.
There is a table of young men close to us, talking, eating and gesturing happily. It’s the kind of food I would call good grub.
The menu emphasises fresh market ingredients. L’Abaceria market is just a few blocks away. To look at the interior, the instinct would be that it will be strictly Catalan food but the menu reveals some fusion tendencies. A distinctly local approach to fusion at any rate. Like a skewer of smoked salmon, fresh cheese, truffle honey and poppy seeds. (10.25€)
We have been invited to try out Cal Trapella and we leave it to them to choose some of their more popular dishes to try. They give us four: mussels on the half shell smothered in a red mojo sauce (9.70€); the patatas Bravas (5.20€); meatballs with almond sauce (9.80€); a whole grilled squid on a grey aioli with house fried crisps (11.90€). Each one of them, even the mussels hearty dishes with the thick red sauces asking to be mopped up with bread. The meatballs are made according to the specifications of a much-loved grandmother and are shaped into something approximating the size of a tennis ball.
Besides the giant meatballs (and who amongst us can say no to a giant meatball?) I love the Cal Trapella take on patatas bravas, with crispy onions strewn over the top and their house riff on the typical aioli. Incidentally, these patatas bravas scored well on the popular @bravasbarcelona account.
It’s a good meal. I feel that I have definitely put some meat on my bones after just one session. Less successful is the carrot cake we end with, on the wrong end of stodgy but truthfully, we don’t have room for it anyhow.