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My Barcelona Bites: A “Nu” Gem in an Old Town

November 11, 2012

Okay, so Nu is actually not located in Barcelona.  Instead, we stumbled across the restaurant while on our day trip to Figueres and Girona, an hour and half north of Barcelona along the coast.  The restaurant sat unassumingly on the corner of two stone paved pedestrian paths in the old town of Girona.  The inside of the restaurant was modern and sleek with the slightest bit of Japanese influence, a drastic contrast against the neighborhood.  We were once again early for lunch and even though it was already 1PM, we were the very first patrons.  A friendly waiter gladly ushered us in and provided an English menu to our relief.

The menu at Nu reflected the essence of the decor, a good mix of traditional tapas and appetizers and main dishes with hints of Asian flavors and preparation.  In addition an abundance of choices for each course, there was also a prix fixe available for the whole table.   The three of us all had our eyes on different items on the menu so a la cart it was.

Cassava chips and “Espinaler” sauce, reminiscent of romesco sauce, courtesy of the restaurant.

Tomato, basil and virgin olive oil delights from the “tapas” section.  Smooth pearlized spheres of tomato cream were served with basil drops surrounded by the olive oil.  Chinese soup spoons made it easy to deliver the spheres into our mouths.  The flavors were very subtle, almost too subtle.  I was left waiting for that kick from the basil or a spicy note from the oil to set in.

Next,  a ravioli filled with black sausage with pumpkin and apple cream.  We were all a little apprehensive about the filling but managed to bite the bullet and satisfy our curiosity by sharing the appetizer.  The raviolis looked precious, with an almost translucent wrapper folded like a package.  The black sausage inside was much bolder than the presentation suggested.  Warming and spiced, the unmistakably meaty sausage was tempered perfectly by the subtly sweet pumpkin and apple puree.

Now we were ready to move onto the appetizers.  Burrata cheese with tomatoes, basil and olives for MP, fresh pasta with black olives, basil and sardine roe for me and the roasted meat cannelloni with Idiazabal cheese and black truffle for LZ.  The burrata was beautifully creamy yet light, just want you would expect.  My fresh pasta was unexpectedly light, probably from the lack of a sauce, which might have helped incorporate all the ingredients together.  And LZ’s roasted meat cannelloni?  Rich and hearty, the cannelloni was filled with a soft mixture of pork and veal.

Finally, our main dishes arrived.  Lacquered pork rib and Idiazabal polenta for MP, cod loin on a bed of escalivada (roast onions, auberginies and peppers) with Romesco emulsion for LZ and Nu‘s special fried eggs, potato and ham for me.  The sweet and savory pork ribs required both hands on deck to devour while the cod was much more tame in terms of flavors.

And my fried eggs, potato and ham?   A wonderful well seasoned rendition of a traditional Spanish tapas.  Two fried eggs were nestled on a bed of potato foam and topped with a mountain of matchstick potatoes and crispy jamon slivers.

It would have been great to sample some of the desserts but we had clearly underestimated the portion sizes of the dishes at Nu.  No regrets though.  The food was beautiful and overall well executed with friendly and warm service.  After the long leisurely lunch, we were refueled and recharged to walk through the rest of Girona’s stone paved path.

Nu | Carrer d’Abeuradors, 4  17004 Girona, Spain | http://www.nurestaurant.cat/

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