A warm meal and even warmer atmosphere
Tasty food is not the only thing that’ll have people going in and out of restaurants with a smile on their face. It’s all about the finer details, and as winter flurries on outside, a fireplace is key to warmth and comfort. Both in more traditional and newly opened restaurants, enjoying a meal near a fireplace is a delightful experience.
Mesón del Conde, located near the sea in Alt Empordà, is a great example, serving home-cooked meals made with quality, freshly harvested produce. Grilled onion shoots from the countryside, for example. The region’s capital, Figueres, is home to Can Jeroni, which offers traditional Catalan dishes and features a dining area with a large fireplace. The same is true at Sa Poma in Espinavessa, but with a Mallorcan flare in its cuisine.
Heading down along the coastline you’ll reach Palamós, where you can dine in the peaceful atmosphere of Winet Nömada, bathed in the warm glow of its fireplace. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy a slice of homemade cake on a winter’s evening. Fireplaces are also commonplace in the inland parts of Baix Empordà. Ibèric, located in Ullastret, is a fine example. In winter, the chargrilled meat, which is cooked over an open fire in one of the dining rooms, complements the usual Empordà market cuisine of casseroles and fresh fish.
In chillier regions like Cerdanya, there are plenty of restaurants with fireplaces. Take El Paller de Queixans, located in Queixans, for instance, which serves mountain cuisine with an innovative flare, offering both sea urchins and the region’s famous trinxat (cabbage and potato) on the same menu. La Borda del Ceretà in Puigcerdà cooks up Ceretani cuisine, featuring seasonal products and signature tapas around the fire.
Catalan cuisine cooked over an open fire is one of the most common in Garrotxa. Both Can Font in La Vall d’en Bas and Montserrat in Beuda have dining rooms set around the fireplace in old Catalan country houses, with rooms for groups. The volcanic cuisine of Olot’s La Bota, whose grill is its central feature, offers top-quality meat cooked right before your eyes.
Freshly made toast at Can Jeroni in Beget is a prime example of the winter cuisine in store for you in Ripollès. You’ll have to book to eat by the fire, unlike at El Grèvol, in Llanars, where pizzas, hamburgers and sandwiches are all served around the open fireplace. Juicy duck breast served on a smoking salt stone fits perfectly with the glow of the fire at El Trill in Planoles. And don’t miss the elaborate traditional high mountain cuisine that has been served at Can Jepet, in Setcases, for over fifty years.
If you want to experience what it was like to live in a traditional Catalan country house, where families spent time by the fire, head to Cal Ganso in Sant Martí de Llémena (Gironès), which serves local food in the heart of nature. A similar atmosphere can be found at L’Escon in Llambilles, whose open fire is the space’s main feature, or at Quart’s Cal Bosquetà, where not only the meat is chargrilled, but also the market-fresh fish. Home cooking in the beautiful setting of the Gavarres massif.
Whether it’s snowing outside or not, the fire is always lit at Can Merla in Santa Coloma de Farners (Selva). This restaurant specialises in chargrilled meat, cooked in a large wood-burning fireplace that gives it that distinctive flavour. For large groups, Els Cortals in Sant Hilari Sacalm is a fine option, serving hearty breakfasts to recover from the cold Guilleries mountains.
Finally, we’ll stop off in Pla de l’Estany. At Can Mià in Palol de Revardit, you can try typical Catalan cuisine: seasoned and cooked snails a la llauna, sausages and various types of poultry brought up just outside the restaurant. Duck is also one of the star dishes at La Barretina in Orfes, as is its famous onion pie. The restaurant is full of surprises, from a cloister to a wine cellar and even a fireplace.