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Food & Drink

Best Spanish Restaurant 

B44

The thing most local Spanish restaurants lack is the distinctive energy of the original model, especially the vida loca pizazz to be found in Barcelona's ever-buzzing tapas bars and bodegas. B44 is tucked into an alleyway not unlike those that harbor many bistros found in Barcelona's old quarter; the sidewalk out front overflows with diners enjoying the positively Catalan sunshine; the exposed-concrete, primary-colored, modern-industrial setting is totally Gaudi; the handsome bar is stocked with wines and sherries, España's favorite libations. And the food? Tastier than the real thing, of course; Spain isn't exactly known for its light and subtle cuisine. Our favor- ite Barcelona hangout, Cava, serves nothing but champagne, manchego cheese, and fresh anchovies; the combo's available at B44 as well, and it's marvelous. Roast rabbit is accompanied by a vinegary, Zuni-like bread salad studded with currants and pine nuts, another taste treat. And there's a wide array of tapas, seafood, and single-serving paellas to conjure up memories of that pleasure-loving city by the Mediterranean.

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