Magnolia is the kind of restaurant you dream of stumbling across when you’ve decided on an impromptu dinner and are racking your brains for that usually elusive mix of exciting, creative and expertly prepared fare without the gourmet price tag or compulsory advance booking. One look at the prestigiously-trained Italian chef Gianni Fusco’s artfully constructed take on the Mediterranean menu – for which he enlists the help of a blackboard for brainstorming and an Adrià-inspired kit involving liquid nitrogen-charged siphons – and it’s clear how much passion and skill has gone into those seasonal concoctions.
New delights currently taking centre stage include honey-marinated salmon with yogurt, black olives, apple sauce, curry, avocado and turrón de jijona to start, and a main of glazed codfish on ginger-flavored vegetables and whipped potato cream (which by the way is carbonized onion flavor) topped with a garnish of almond curry powder. Dinner is served in unpretentious and elegantly stripped-back settings, whose feel of warmly-lit, low-key romance (and exotic range of Mojitos such as passion fruit and mango) have made Magnolia a popular hang-out spot for a chilled drink, particularly given their 3.50 euro offer on standard Mojitos and Caipirinhas.
There’s a breakfast menu and 9.95 set lunch menu on weekdays; tapas, fruit smoothies and cocktails during the afternoons, and the fixed-price dinner menu is an easily digested 17.95 euros (or 25 euros on Fridays and Saturdays). Just be sure to leave room for the feast of deserts on offer – or at least a mouthful of the Cocoa Universe desert, a cocoa “earth” with cream of 72% black ocumare chocolate, white chocolate scales and Frangelico-orange contrast.
MAGNOLIA. Mon–Wed 9am–1am, Thu–Fri 9am–3am, Sat 12pm–3am, Sun 12pm–1am. C/ Ciutat, 5 (Barri Gòtic) TEL 93 304 23 76.