They almost make it look too easy at Camping Mar. No sooner have we placed our orders for starters and our smiling server is already setting the food down. She’s wearing a mask, but her cheerful gait and bouncing ponytail makes me assume she is smiling. It’s the 1st of January 2022. It’s sunny and crisp outside, and I’m trying to grab 2022 by the scruff and make this year my bitch. I am purposely stepping into the year on the right foot with a lunch like this. With a sunset sea dip planned later for good measure.
Camping Mar is underneath the W. But not underneath by Pez Vela (Tragaluz Group), off to the side and at a sub-level I’m unaware existed. My sister and I have to walk around a still to be developed empty lot. Once I find it, Camping Mar shows off the confidence that all the En Compañía de Lobos places do. Striking interior and a large outside space that boasts the use of a landscape artist. And the speediness of the food arrival. This is a restaurant group whose kitchen is so professional that I would argue they should work in an artificial delay between order and delivery.
Far from having been rushed and sloppy, our dishes are good. And yes, I am surprised because mere minutes have passed. Fried artichoke halves are crispy and still hot. Ditto croquetas. I am not a fan of their version of braves, thick horizontal slices with a jammy brown sauce and no contrasting mayonnaise. There is a plate of stracciatella, with buttons of pink pepper and some leek rounds standing on it like soldiers.
We are all drinking Aperol because the colour contrast with the turquoise paper mats is spectacular in the bright sunshine. I’ve ordered a paella with botifarra and mushrooms for two even though there are four of us because I’ve noticed that a two-person paella typically feeds four. Maybe because of the (ahem) speed with which it’s expedited, the paella doesn’t boast enough of the much-coveted socarrat. But it doesn’t matter because we are outside having lunch in the sunshine on the 1st of January and it doesn’t get much better than this.
We are settling into a lazy Sobremesa after a too sweet lemon meringue pie when our (still) cheerful server serves us the bill we didn’t ask for. We pay and reluctantly leave our sunny table for someone else to enjoy. If there is one thing En Compañía de Lobos knows how to do, besides train their kitchen and front of house staff, it’s how to turn those tables.
Pg. Joan de Borbó, 103
08039 Marina Vela
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Gail Carberry says
Thanks for the article. I’m a new follower. My husband is celebrating his 82nd birthday and I’d like to take him someplace special for dinner. We are new to Barcelona and would love your expert referral if you don’t mind. He loves and cooks Asian food as well as good Italian fare. His birthday is the 22nd of January. Thanks for your help and for your reviews! Gail Carberry
Hi Gail. I think one of the best Italian restaurants in Barcelona is Xemei in Poble Sec. https://xemei.es For some reason I have yet to review them on the website.
In terms of Asian – do you mean Japanese? Chinese? Thai? Barcelona does Japanese best and there are a few options.