Restaurant 7 Portes in "La Vanguardia" neswpaper

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The Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia has devoted a number 7 products to the restaurant 7 Portes. For your interest the whole is reproduced here.

Transcript of Restaurant 7 Portes in "La Vanguardia" neswpaper

El diari barcelon La Vanguardia ha dedicat una srie de 7 articles al restaurant 7 Portes. Pel seu inters en el seu conjunt els reprodum aqu: El peridico barcelons La Vanguardia ha dedicado una serie de 7 artculos al restaurante 7 Portes. Por su inters en su conjunto los reproducimos aqu: The Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia has devoted a number 7 products to the restaurant 7 Portes. For your interest the whole is reproduced here:




TASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan

Seven days and seven nightsA couple celebrate their golden wedding anniversary at what had once been the favourite table of Picasso. They have eaten the same dishes of the day that were promised and the receptionist, Sandra Moreno, in the photo which accompanies this article, brings them the bill. The total comes to less than two Euros, the equivalent of what was paid a half a century ago. The couple is surprised and Sandra tells them that it is a gift on the house. The young receptionist transmits feelings, speaks 7 languages and is in charge of new technologies and in her social network has hundreds of friends she has made through the restaurant. The maestro pianist, Manuel Barea caressess the piano keys and evokes what the song says that he plays every night for the past thirty years. It doesn't matter what the future holds. As time passes, the moonlight and lovesongs never go out of style. Neither does the number 7 go out of style, which has been present since classic Greece, the Bible and in the Kabala, in Masonry and in the lottery. Mithical like the Set Portes, the place since 1836 in the most neoclassic and romantic square in the entire city without the gentrified Rambla nor the first train on the Iberian penninsula. Below the porches of Josep Xifr, the most richest man in Barcelona at that time. It is said that he was a mason, like his decorators and like Josep Cuys who


175 years of history is celebrated. The restaurant Set Portes was and continues to be in all senses a reference point of the city of Barcelonainnaugurated the Set Portes Caf. It was the most luxurious, bourgeois and aristocratic caf and served its desserts to the Baroness of Turella who always asked for a discount. It is not known whether or not they were masons as it was forbidden, just as it was forbidden in 1831 in the cafs because it was considered to be caverns of vices, of sin and political conspiracy. It is not known who named the place. If it had been Xifr, Cuys or the columnist Joan Cortada, who signed his name as Aben Abulema and was called a Moro without being one. Some say that there were only three doors, others say five and others, nine. What is certain is that one

enters and leaves through one door, the same one that so many generations from Barcelona as well as foreigners have crossed. The large building was restored, but what has remained is the well, the wine cellar below a classic Catalan arch , the room where the present owner was born, the staircase where the chorus descended before it was a restaurant and much of the art that remains on the walls. Always under restoration, concludes Rafael Santos, the director. Just like Barcelona, always under construction, always in figures. More than 500 people dine here every day, 100,000 rice dishes per year... Purchasing Manager, Manuel Mart confirms this. We've been purchasing from the same bakery for the past 60 years, the meat and fish from the Boquera market from the very beginning, the shrimp from Palams, the wine is supplied by Quim Vila, who, as a youngster would bring us fresh vegetables on a trolly. Open every day of the year, at 1:00 pm the service team carry out the ritual of organizing the dining room. The waiters have changed with time, but their profile remains the same. The pianist repeats As Time Goes By. Just as the era has passed in which Carme Parellada, lady and the soul of the restaurant gave storybooks by Calleja to her clients as gifts that the grandchildren of her clients kept. This Saturday the seven days and seven nights at Set Portes, with its thousand and one myths and stories. Seven crullers just like Uncle Nelo made back in 1836 to make the wait a little sweeter.





TASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan

Seven muses at the tablesrom an accountant music lover that made a movie called the Fall of the Human Empire, you expect much more than the bill for the meal. Josep Maria Revs has been working in the Set Portes for almost half a century. In 1839 the first photo in Spain was taken there. He handled the digital screen and memorized the prices of the 40 different dishes on the menu: I've been here since the times when we used carbon paper. He started at the front counter preparing the charcuterie and called the clients when they were telephoned. The Set Portes was already a high level restaurant with rich people that began with an appetizer at lunchtime and made a long after lunch conversation until late afternoon. Much earlier than being a high level restaurant it was a caf theatre and the vedettes from that time still can be found in the posters that are hanging on the walls of the restaurant. At that time, the manager was Joan Biscamps that manufactured charcuterie and used to sell it as delicacies to his neighbors that lived in palaces. Following the inauguration of the Barcelona-Matar train station and La Llotja of Fine Arts, the Caf de La Llotja became the perifery of the exposition of 1888, with the Ciutadella Park as its epicenter. It was nearby the bullring of the Barceloneta where the first hot air balloon was seen in Barcelona.


The private dining rooms at the Set Portes hold big secrets and allow one to enjoy the food in a relaxed atomosphere like the green or pink room.The City of Marvels kept growing and financially booming. The rich people made the Rambla in fashion, El Liceu, they had a lover in Paris and they moved to the new majestuous Ensanche district and to the new international hotels with French chefs. The Set Portes became more popular and allowed billards, gambling, flamenco dancing, but suffered a certain decline. Its rebirth took place thanks to the Great War of 1914, the exposition of 1929 and the construction of the Frana train station. Bartomeu Mas bought the old caf and restored it to the taste of the military, spies, businessmen, land owners, artists and

freight forwarders that came to live near the port. Mas started serving them white beans with sausage, tomato bread, prawns, and drinks such as zuavo. Fed up with French cuisine, the Catalans returned to their own cuisine and began to devour white beans. To this day they are still present on the menu at Set Portes and there are people who still order them almost hiding in their reserved dining rooms where so many secrets are kept. As the accountant tells us, the Fall of the Human Empire began with the rushes that when the time to sit at the table at midday was finished. Coffee, a drink and a cigar? This was with the literary gatherings of Josep Maria de Segarra and other intellectuals. Now you can not smoke nor drink if you have to return to work after eating. He remembers these long gatherings with Joan Mir and Frederic Mompou dear elders that dined here and still few knew them nor recognized them. Poets, musicians, writers, actors, artists, ballerinas...All the muses have inspired something in The Set Portes that no one knows how many doors the restaurant actually had. Like the muses that we still discuss if there are three, nine, or seven. With respect to the literary gatherings we could easily write an entire book, says the accountant. In the meantime, the master Barea plays on the piano the Siete Mares Azules of the Acuarela from Toquinho. As it was read in old story books and comic books that todays owner of the restaurant collects - the story will continue.





TASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan

Sitting on after a meal with taste and arturing the Second Republic, the Set Portes was left near the parliament and at its tables Francesc Maci, Lluis Companys, Josep Tarradellas, and the sindicalist Angel Pestaa frequented the restaurant. We must not leave out Frederico Garcia Lorca, Dal and Margarita Xirgu. The restaurant was already famous as a place to share conversation, but Josep Pla and Josep Maria de Segarra transformed it into a literary myth. During the civil war it was socialized and transformed into a public dining room served by sindicalists. Later on, Alexander Fleming, Eva Pern, Rothchild the millionaire, Manolete the bullfighter, Monsieur Citroen and personalities from the nuevo regimen dined there. The power was changed, but not the food, since all tried the same dishes as Catalans such as pig's feet gratin, that in Catalonia are still called Minister's feet. In 1942 Paco Parellada became the manager of Set Portes. Member of a long line of restauranteurs , he learned while he worked in the popular Fonda Europa in Granollers and the sophisticated Maison Dore in Barcelona. With his fine ability in public relations he managed to relate to livestock dealers, politicians and intellectuals. A legendary man, people used to say that they paid not only for the food, but also for his conversation. Set Portes became a large dining hall to practice the art of conversation. Parts of


Just Blanquer, who appears in the photo, was both a waiter and poet and made verses of the menus of this restaurant which were the highlight of high-level literary gatherings.its legacy are fifteen fixed conversation meetings and many more improvised . The renowned magazine, Destino, held its meetings there, hosted by Josep Maria de Segarra, Nestor Lujn, Ignacio Augusti, Vicente Aleixandre and oth