Barcelona’s Eixample district reminds me most of New York. The grid layout no doubt has something to do with it, plenty of generous sidewalks. More than that, it’s that the ground floor of every apartment block has a collar of shops wrapped around it. There are more nail salons per capita in Barcelona than anywhere else in Europe. (This is not a scientifically proven fact more an observation.)
Then there is the love of food. They love their food here. There is a shop for every category of ingredient. Low end or high end.
La Castafiore is definitely high end. It starts with Cipriani dry pasta in the front, in packaging that looks like Tiffany’s went into the pasta making business. On the other side, wooden boxes with fresh ravioli lying in piles of semolina. Their pasta is made fresh each day using seasonal local ingredients. The bread they sell is by Daniel Jordà. It’s at the back though that you really understand what kind of establishment this is: Joselito and Cinco Jotas ham hang. These two are up there when it comes to Jamon. Joselito is better for you than an avocado because it’s rich in oleic acids and antioxidants, it will actually reduce your cholesterol! (I made the avocado thing up but the rest of it is all true!)
The prices, the selection, the formality of the place. In spirit, it reminds me of a little Dean and Deluca, minus the salad bar. The people that shop here are similarly well to do. I would like nothing more than to follow some of them home, especially the men that seem to be buying for themselves, money no object. What are their apartments like? What do they do? Are they going to share those 4 cannolis or eat one while they unwrap their Joselito?
More great shops on the blog: