Set into a 15th-century building opposite the church on the tiny plaza of Sant Just, Cafè de L’Acadèmia is more inventive and less expensive than it looks. Chef-owner Jordí Casteldi prepares Catalan market cuisine, offering a delicious cold carrot soup with a dollop of pesto in warm weather. (It comes paired with a second bowl of gazpacho.) Fish dishes—roasted salt cod gratinée with artichoke mousse, for example—are a little more involved than the usual fare. Like many modern Catalan chefs, he also prepares a number of nominally Italian dishes that can range from lasagna with blood pudding sausage to risotto finished with thin slices of foie gras on top. Caramelized grapes beneath the rice are a foil to the foie. Casteldi owns his own vineyards, so the house wine is truly the wine of the house.
- Frommer's Staff