Nobody goes to Els Quatre Gats for its fine cuisine, as most of the offerings are rather bland versions of traditional Catalan fare. But the restaurant is full of the ghosts of a bygone era, and the management has taken advantage of the building’s rich history to attract a curious crowd of visitors, who come for a look and stay for a meal or a few shared plates of tapas. The restaurant has recently made more of an effort at presentation, serving some dishes on tiles based on Modernista designs, dressing the wait staff in snappy traditional black-and-white, and generally re-creating the heyday of the restaurant, which lasted only 5 years at the turn of the last century. Teenage Picasso hit the mark in 1900 when he had his first exhibition on the walls of Els Quatre Gats, which was a hangout for Modernista art stars of the previous generation (Santiago Rusiñol, Miquel Utrillo, Ramón Casas). He also designed the menu cover, which is still used, signing it with his given name, “P. Ruiz Picasso” (he later dropped the more pedestrian surname of his father). The exterior of the building is an 1897 marvel of Neo-Gothic and Catalan art nouveau elements designed by Puig i Caldalfach.