Beer with Lemon Juice
Black Pudding Croquettas
Pan con Tomate
Galician Octopus with Potatoes and Paprika
Foie Gras Toast with Fig and Balsamic
Torrejas with Dulce de Leche and Cappuccino Ice Cream
Crema Catalana with Vanilla Ice Cream
Considered by many to be one of Barcelona’s best Tapas Bars, the menu in many ways channeling France’s Bistronomic movement while still distinctively Spanish, it was after a lengthy visit to TICKETS that a couple sat down for late night eats at Bar Mut, the cozy stretch of the bar originally intended as just a few bites subsequently turning into a €104 meal thanks to not only everything sounding good but the “Market Price” on certain dishes driving up the price.
At this point adapted to Spanish time, everything from shop openings to meals occurring hours later than they do Stateside, it was with the foresight to make reservations that two diners were welcomed immediately upon entering at 22h30, an bilingual young man guiding guests through a menu written on Chalkboards with a few specials also quoted off-hand.
Famous for its focus on Catalan Cuisine and well sourced ingredients, the kitchen split across two floors in constant motion with the small room packed from open to close and reservations strongly encouraged for those who do not wish to wait for more than an hour, it was after brief indecision with Beer and good Olives already presented that the choice was made to order in rounds, a total of nine items paced out over the course of 130 minutes with only two considerably large taking into account the day’s already substantial amount of eating.
Independently owned and operated, the well-polished service and a Chef-driven menu allowing Bar Mut to serve the sort of plates other Tapas Restaurants shy away from for the sake of accessibility and diverse crowds, it was immediately on being told that the “Chef’s Croquettas” were made with Black Pudding that two were ordered, everything about the combination of funky Sausage and creamy Cheese in golden Breading living up to admittedly high expectations.
Promising pristine Seafood, the Steamed Mussels in White Wine, plenty of Butter and Garlic as good as anything one might find in Belgium or France made even more delicious when taken bite for bite with Tomato-brushed Bread, it was with the large pot quickly dispatched of that a €26 plate of Octopus arrived, the Cephalopod charred but tender while Potatoes were skin-on and soft with bold aromatics from Paprika.
Unable to resist crispy Potatoes in addition to the tender ones above, Bar Mut’s Patatas Bravas paired with both Mayonnaise and a smoky sauce reminiscent of Chipotle Peppers, it was alongside the sizable glass bowl that a thick slice of caramelized Duck Liver was served atop grilled Bread with Figs and a Balsamic drizzle, the €6 dish an absolute steal while the €26 Paella was also quite a bargain with four King Prawns served on a bed of Saffron-rich Rice with plenty of crusty Socarrat around the edges.
Finishing all but a few spoonfuls of rice, the clock now turned over to the following day and two tasting-menus finally catching up in terms of appetite, it was perhaps a foolhardy move to order not one but two desserts, though in reality it would be difficult to decide which one better as the Catalan Cream came warm beneath bruleed Sugar and slowly melting Vanilla Ice Cream while the “French Toast” was delightful with crackling exterior overlying sweet Custard.