UPDATE: Unfortunately the excellent Manolete is no more. It is now the Aperol Spritz Bar. A nice bar, with a covered terrace, in a good location, that thankfully serves more than Aperol.
Located slap-bang next to Port Vell underneath the beautiful arches that line parts of Passeig d’Isabel II, Manolete is a charming little restaurant serving some equally charming tapas.
Now I want to be up front here. I don’t normally do restaurant posts. I’m not normally invited to restaurants. To review them I mean – I have friends. But Manolete kindly invited me and for once with these sort of things they were kind enough to invite my wife too. So it was brownie points all round.
We arrived on a warm August evening. You can see Manolete from across the street thanks to the string of bright bulbs out front that remind me of a stage actresses dressing room mirror. They have a small terrace outside with cute red and white polka-dot tablecloths. Inside is similarly charming. It has some nice touches. Distressed-look cupboards filled with glasses and wine, modern black and white photography perched on a shelf half way up the back wall, and pretty embroidered cushions along the wooden but perfectly comfortable benches. Even as I write this it sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it does. The lighting was just right too. And the music playing in the background was loud enough to notice but quiet enough not to be intrusive. I have to admit, I sat down, arranged my cushions behind me, looked around, listened, and then smiled. Even though the restaurant was pretty empty at this point it was an extremely pleasant atmosphere. Read the rest of this article…