El diari barceloní La Vanguardia ha dedicat una sèriede 7 articles al restaurant 7 Portes.Pel seu interès en el seu conjunt els reproduïm aquí:El periódico barcelonés La Vanguardia ha dedicado una seriede 7 artículos al restaurante 7 Portes.Por su interés en su conjunto los reproducimos aquí:The Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia has devoted anumber 7 products to the restaurant 7 Portes.For your interest the whole is reproduced here:
SATURDAY, JULY 30, 2011 S U M M E R L I V I N GTASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan Seven days and seven nights T A couple celebrate their enters and leaves through one door, the golden wedding anniversary same one that so many generations from at what had once been the Barcelona as well as foreigners have favourite table of Picasso. crossed. The large building was restored, They have eaten the same dishes of the but what has remained is the well, the wine day that were promised and the cellar below a classic Catalan arch , the receptionist, Sandra Moreno, in the room where the present owner was born, photo which accompanies this article, the staircase where the chorus descended brings them the bill. The total comes to before it was a restaurant and much of the less than two Euros, the equivalent of art that remains on the walls. what was paid a half a century ago. The “Always under restoration”, concludes couple is surprised and Sandra tells Rafael Santos, the director. Just like them that it is a gift on the house. The Barcelona, always under construction, young receptionist transmits feelings, always in figures. “More than 500 people speaks 7 languages and is in charge of new technologies and in her social dine here every day, 100,000 rice dishes 1 per year...” Purchasing Manager, Manuel network has hundreds of friends she has Martí confirms this. “Weve been made through the restaurant. The purchasing from the same bakery for the maestro pianist, Manuel Barea past 60 years, the meat and fish from the caressess the piano keys and evokes Boquería market from the very beginning, what the song says that he plays every the shrimp from Palamós, the wine is night for the past thirty years. “ It supplied by Quim Vila, who, as a doesnt matter what the future holds. As time passes, the moonlight and youngster would bring us fresh vegetables lovesongs never go out of on a trolly. Open every day of the year, at style.” 1:00 pm the service team carry out the Neither does the number 7 go 175 years of history is celebrated. The restaurant ritual of organizing the dining room. “The waiters have changed with time, but their out of style, which has been present since classic Greece, Set Portes was and continues to be in all senses profile remains the same.” the Bible and in the Kabala, a reference point of the city of Barcelona The pianist repeats As Time Goes By. Just as the era has passed in which Carme in Masonry and in the lottery. Mithical like the Set Portes, the Parellada, lady and the soul of the place since 1836 in the most neo- innaugurated the Set Portes Café. It was of vices”, of sin and political conspiracy. restaurant gave storybooks by Calleja to classic and romantic square in the entire the most luxurious, bourgeois and It is not known who named the place. If it her clients as gifts that the grandchildren city without the gentrified Rambla nor aristocratic café and served its desserts to had been Xifré, Cuyàs or the columnist of her clients kept. This Saturday the the first train on the Iberian penninsula. the Baroness of Turella who always asked Joan Cortada, who signed his name as seven days and seven nights at Set Portes, Below the porches of Josep Xifré, the for a discount. It is not known whether or Aben Abulema and was called a “Moro” with its thousand and one myths and most richest man in Barcelona at that not they were masons as it was forbidden, without being one. Some say that there stories. Seven crullers just like Uncle time. It is said that he was a mason, like just as it was forbidden in 1831 in the cafés were only three doors, others say five and Nelo made back in 1836 to make the wait his decorators and like Josep Cuyàs who because it was considered to be “caverns others, nine. What is certain is that one a little sweeter.
S U M M E R L I V I N G SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011TASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan Seven muses at the tables F rom an accountant – music freight forwarders that came to live near lover that made a movie the port. Mas started serving them white called the “Fall of the Human beans with sausage, tomato bread, prawns, Empire”, you expect much and drinks such as zuavo. Fed up with more than the bill for the meal. Josep French cuisine, the Catalans returned to Maria Revés has been working in the their own cuisine and began to devour Set Portes for almost half a century. In white beans. To this day they are still 1839 the first photo in Spain was taken present on the menu at Set Portes and there there. He handled the digital screen and are people who still order them almost memorized the prices of the 40 different dishes on the menu: “ Ive been here hiding in their reserved dining rooms since the times when we used carbon where so many secrets are kept. paper.” He started at the front counter As the accountant tells us, the Fall of the preparing the charcuterie and called the Human Empire began with the rushes that clients when they were telephoned. “The Set Portes was already a high level when the time to sit at the table at midday was finished. “Coffee, a drink and a cigar? 2 restaurant with rich people that began This was with the literary gatherings of with an appetizer at lunchtime and made Josep Maria de Segarra and other a long after lunch conversation until late intellectuals. Now you can not smoke nor afternoon. “ drink if you have to return to work after Much earlier than being a high level eating.” He remembers these long restaurant it was a café theatre and the gatherings with Joan Miró and Frederic vedettes from that time still can be Mompou “ dear elders that dined here and found in the posters that are still few knew them nor recognized them.” hanging on the walls of the Poets, musicians, writers, actors, artists, restaurant. At that time, the manager was Joan Biscamps The private dining rooms at the Set Portes hold ballerinas...All the muses have inspired something in The Set Portes that no one that manufactured charcuterie and used to sell it big secrets and allow one to enjoy the food in a knows how many doors the restaurant as “delicacies” to his relaxed atomosphere like the green or pink room. actually had. Like the muses that we still neighbors that lived in palaces. discuss if there are three, nine, or seven. “ Following the inauguration of the With respect to the literary gatherings we Barcelona-Mataró train station and The City of Marvels kept growing and gambling, flamenco dancing, but suffered could easily write an entire book”, says La Llotja of Fine Arts, the Café de La financially booming. The rich people a certain decline. the accountant. In the meantime, the Llotja became the perifery of the made the Rambla in fashion, El Liceu, Its rebirth took place thanks to the Great master Barea plays on the piano the Siete exposition of 1888, with the Ciutadella they had a lover in Paris and they moved to War of 1914, the exposition of 1929 and Mares Azules of the Acuarela from Park as its epicenter. It was nearby the the new majestuous Ensanche district and the construction of the França train station. Toquinho. As it was read in old story bullring of the Barceloneta where the to the new international hotels with Bartomeu Mas bought the old café and books and comic books that todays owner first hot air balloon was seen in French chefs. The Set Portes became restored it to the taste of the military, spies, of the restaurant collects - the story will Barcelona. more popular and allowed billards, businessmen, land owners, artists and continue.
S U M M E R L I V I N G SATURDAY, AUGUST 13, 2011TASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan Sitting on after a meal with taste and art The oldest members of these gatherings are D uring the Second Republic, the Set Portes was left near the traders at La Llotja and the Stock the parliament and at its Brokers from the Stock Market, whose rich tables Francesc Macià, Lluis building is known as ” the one in front of Companys, Josep Tarradellas, and the Set Portes”. There, the well known Pere sindicalist Angel Pestaña frequented the Llauradó, “since we were young and restaurant. We must not leave out queued next to the telephone to find out the Frederico Garcia Lorca, Dalí and fluctuation of prices in Chicago. He speaks Margarita Xirgu. The restaurant was with the younger ones of today using their already famous as a place to share mobile phones waiting for news from conversation, but Josep Pla and Josep Chicago. Among them, Rosa Grau, first Maria de Segarra transformed it into a and sole lady, member of the Llotja literary myth. During the civil war it was managers since the 17th century. “ When I socialized and transformed into a public began, we were very few. It was hard. We dining room served by sindicalists. Later on, Alexander Fleming, Eva Perón, had to earn self-respect. Until I became a member of the literary gathering.” Still 3 Rothchild the millionaire, Manolete the there were members from La Llotja and the bullfighter, Monsieur Citroen and Stock Market from all over Spain. “ Every personalities from the “nuevo regimen” Tuesday at this table we did big business dined there. The power was changed, and moved big fortunes,” said Llauradó. but not the food, since all tried the same And continues: “With the new dishes as Catalans such as pigs feet technologies we are losing face to face gratin, that in Catalonia are still called contact which was very important to do Ministers feet. business.” In 1942 Paco Parellada became Fixed gatherings are held by The Forum the manager of Set Portes. Just Blanquer, who appears in the photo, was both Technologic, Chamber of Commerce, Unió Member of a long line of de Pagesos, Mercat Carnic, Ingenieros restauranteurs , he learned a waiter and poet and made verses of the menus Agrónomos, Barça, Humorists from the while he worked in the of this restaurant which were the highlight of magazine, El Jueves and other select personalities. Some met Just Blanquer, the popular Fonda Europa in Granollers and the high-level literary gatherings. man in the photo that illustrates this page. sophisticated Maison Dorée in He was a poet and waiter that transformed Barcelona. With his fine ability in its legacy are fifteen fixed conversation medical doctors who frequented the every menu into a poem. He was so public relations he managed to relate to meetings and many more improvised . The restaurant every Friday . They eventually influential that he managed to get the train livestock dealers, politicians and renowned magazine, Destino, held its died one after the other until there was only timetable changed for the Renfe gatherers intellectuals. A legendary man, people meetings there, hosted by Josep Maria de one left and every Friday he would come so that they could return to Mataró. used to say that they paid not only for the Segarra, Nestor Luján, Ignacio Augusti, alone to the same table and ordered the Everyone ordered and today still continue food, but also for his conversation. Set Vicente Aleixandre and other writers. same dishes. He continued maintain this to order Paella Parellada with its incredible Portes became a large dining hall to But, what deserves to give special mention tradition until he followed the same steps as history which will be covered in next practice the art of conversation. Parts of to were the meetings held by those eight his colleagues. Saturdays issue. .
S U M M E R L I V I N G SATURDAY, AUGUST 20, 2011TASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan Naked Paella and a Pijama burners on the stove only for paellas alone T he Set Portes had been in existence for 63 years when in which allow us to prepare 20 at a time. Our the year 1900 the Michelin paella chefs cook nothing else.” Guide was created. Since the A kitchen that is so busy can cause absolute restaurant had never had the objective to chaos, but there, organization and silence obtain Michelin stars, it continues to be dominate. “Good food requires calm”. One loyal to traditional Catalan cuisine. The can only hear the waiters chant their orders restaurant has never given in to some of from each table, “and a strange phenomenon the strange fashion of gastronomy such as occurs: each chef only hears his own orders, vichysoisse or shrimp cocktail which as if our head were a computer that selects innundates other restaurants and then the messages”, says Ruiz, while he is disappears without anyone knowing why. already thinking about the autumn menus. A Paella, for example, that many consider Another brand name of the house is the a dish mainly for tourists and the not so Pijama. Auguste Escoffier from the Hotel sophisticated, now change it for risotto. These things do not occur at the Set Savoy in London created this dessert in honor of the opera singer, Nellie Melba. It is 4 Portes. Since the last century millions of called Peche Melba in French and Peach Parelllada paellas have been served. The Melba in English. However, when the definition is “ a rice dish not containing officials of the 6th Float disembarked in any bones from the fish nor meat ”with all Barcelona and discovered The Set Portes, its necessary bits and pieces of fish or Paco Parellada translated it as Pijama and meat, that must be carefully peeled, added whipped cream, flan and vanilla ice cleaned and cut, making it a gastronomic cream, peach in syrup and powdered sugar. pleasure for the client to enjoy. It was a huge hit throughout Spain and was The name of this type of rice dish the deluxe dessert for the middle class that is one of a capricious dandy, set The Paella Parellada, made by the chef emerged from rationing. in his comfortable ways, and Knowing Catalans, that by nature, have a what the Set Portes made to Carlos Ruiz in its most traditional way, owes its sweet tooth, the Set Portes was also the only order for this type of palate, name to a capricious dandy who would always restaurant that served ice cream in winter. just for him and he would always give his surname to order this dish at the Set Portes. For this reason, the ice cream producer, Frigo, gave shares as a gift to the owners of simplify the order. Since that time, the business until a multinational bought out the clients continue to order in this way chef as the famous Lladonosa is now paellas per day, all dishes are a la carte as Frigo. And now due to asthetics and for and it has become in fashion in Catalonia retired. “I dislike being in the limelight of well as seasonal menus. However, his dietetic purposes, it has alsmost disappeared and in many places to call it “the rice of the media, I prefer anonymity”, he claims. historical mission is to achieve that the from the menus of restaurants. The The Set Portes”. They forgot that the With a team of 45 kitchen staff under his restaurant never takes on the look of an “pijama” still resists there where its name chef, Josep Lladonosa, wrote a book wing, he is not interested in theory. industrial dining room, that each dish is at its was given, the most appropriate for sweet containing 90 varieties of rice dishes that “Catalan cuisine during all our lives without exact cooking time, at the exact moment and dreams and digestion. For this reason the nowadays the clients can still order from. concessions to a modern style”, he that the client feels well looked after. master Barea carresses the piano keys and Carlos Ruiz has taken over the task as synthesizes. He coordinates some 400 “Everything is very calculated and we have 8 with the song Nights in White Satin.
S U M M E R L I V I N G SATURDAY, AUGUST 27, 2011TASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan Ladies, Gentlemen and tourists I n the year 1844 a reporter wrote: very much of those in the Liceu. Deep “We recommend, especially to down, things are the same, although it foreign visitors, the luxurious Set seems theyve changed. “ From the time Portes. The cleanliness and of the Olympic Games of 1992, so many superb service are a guarantee worth tourists visited which caught us mentioning.” The keeper of this unprepared,” they admit. Groups would tradition is Javier Requena, who 26 come, we began to have waiting lists, years ago began as an assistant waiter rushes, and, for a Catalan, not to be able to and later became dining room manager. find a table in his normal restaurant is “To direct 45 waiters requires lots of something that he will never forgive, as it skills and diplomacy with the client and affects both their stomach and their the service, but it is fun because you feelings. deal with all kinds of people.” Like The answer of the owners of the Set Portes when the comedian Jerry Lewis dined has been to accentuate its symbols of there, he saw a boy who was drawing on a table napkin and the actor wanted to identity. “To avoid waiting lines, we 5 recuperated some of the porches where we buy the napkin . Or when Lauren used to serve dinner until they were closed Bacall entered into the room: “ she is in the 70s due to the crisis, the traffic and such a beautiful and elegant lady who social problems”. provoked complete silence in the room.” The master Barea performed the At the moment, there are tables for brillant tune, To have and not to have. smokers and something grand is being Too young to remember: “you dont prepared for the Mercè festivities. Also, have to represent any role with me, they have highlighted what the clients and Steve, you dont have to say or waiters mention constantly: More do anything with me. Only seasonal menus and more traditions like whistle. Do you know how The head maitre, Javier Requena, checks the state the Catalan “Easter cake”, Custard Cream to whistle? Put your lips of a wine in the cellar of the Set Portes, a r for Sant Josep and the Special Catalan together and blow”. Christmas soup.” The Golden book and Luis Realp is the other dining estaurant that with the years, accentuates its identity. the Art collection has been left to be seen room manager and has been and will be discussed in next Saturdays working for a short time. “I issue. worked in many good restaurants and everything that surrounds it, a landmark of only the transporter of a dish ”. He got the even had my own. But when I got a call the city. More than its food, I enjoy the first lesson by a veteran accountant, Josep from Set Portes, it was like getting a call ambience and the atmosphere. Realp is from Barça”. Mr. Realp has a degree in one of those young, driven, over- law and paid for his studies working as achievers that wants to face up to a new restaurant manager. He liked it and challenge: “ Maintain a tradition whilst later on forgot about his law degree. working, make the client feel at home and “Set Portes is not only a restaurant, it is you only can do that when the waiter is not
S U M M E R L I V I N G SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2011TASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan The book of the seven symphonies I n the year 1985, the King Juan of Catalonia that Elisabet, the great- Carlos and Queen Sofia wrote: “ granddaughter of Paco Parellada, catalogs How strange life can be”! Having and exhibits in the dining rooms. “We will visited Barcelona more than 30 move them and restore them without times and never having dined at the Set anyone realizing it”, she promises. Portes seems like something unheard of, A principle part of the restaurant is the but the error has been by far rectified. maestro pianist Manuel Barea. As They signed the Golden book of the everything else in the house, he is more restaurant that a year earlier Juan de than a pianist for the restaurant. He has Borbón, Count of Barcelona visited the been recognized and congratulated by restaurant and that in 1844 Queen Maria Frederic Mompou, Lou Reed, Plácido Christina was served. The book Domingo and Anthony Burgess, who contains so many famous autographs composed Siete Melodies para el Siete that the Pianist Barea plays the song Puertas. Who is maestro Barea? He Imagine. Imagine a list containing: Joan Collins, played for 25 years in the Orchestra of the City of Barcelona, directed the Simphonic 6 Antonio Banderas, Catherine Deneuve Band of Badalona and is professor of the Jerry Lewis, Paco Rabal, Harrison Ford, Conservatory of Music of Badalona and the Lauren Bacall, Marcelo Mastroianni, Escolania of Montserrat. It can not be Michael Douglas, Woody Allen, Pedro expressed any clearer: he is a classic. Almodóvar, Fernando Rey, José “With all the work I have, The Set Portes Sacristan, Luis G. Berlanga, Margaux, relaxes me because I go unnoticed, I Hemmingway, Robert de Niro...Or capture the atmosphere and play each song concerts by Alfredo Kraus, Josep at the appropriate moment”, he confesses. Carreras, Victoria de los For this reason, he has over 500 scores . Ángeles, Montserrat Caballé, “Boleros that never fail and music from all Bebo Valdés, Gloria Estefán , The pianist Manuel Barea, a principle part of the the countries of the tourists”. From Lluis Llach, Lola and Lolita restaurant, entertains the diners with more than Paraules dAmor to Love Story. And from Flores... Or some laughter La Cumparasita to Yesterday. Anything by with Charly Rivel, Mary 500 different scores of all styles. Sinatra, maestro? Strangers In The Night, Santpere, Pajares, Cassen and but My Way. So very classic and Eugenio. Or to see the state of the sentimental just like The Set Portes.” world with Jordi Pujol, Josep Rivaldo, and of books with Ana Maria Ràfols Casamada, Maria Girona, Miró, Tarradellas, Pasqual Maragall, Adolfo Matute and José Saramago. Antonio Saura, Tàpies, Xavier Cugat, Suárez, Santiago Carillo, Francesco Many preferred to draw rather that write Cossiga, Jacques Delors, Javier Solana, and the book is like an art gallery illustrated Vicente Fox, Alberto de Mónaco and by Julio Caro Baroja, Charlton Heston, Che Guevara. Or visit the kitchen with Yoko Ono, Garcia Márquez, Mingote, Arzak and Ruscalleda. Or converse Rafael Alberti, Rebollo, Marisol, Gila and about football with Pelé, Schuster and Felipe de Borbón. Together with them,
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2011 S U M M E R L I V I N GTASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan The theory of hospitality with dances and traditions. But, to the W ith its 175 years of history, the Set Portes has to be the countries found between these two only resturant whose parallels from California until the seven owner is a university cuisines of China, hospitality means that professor. He is Francesc Solé Parellada, you take your guests to eat outside the born in one of the dining rooms of this home whilst making them feel at home.” establishment. His dynasty goes back to They keep this sacred flame burning and 1771 when Fidel Parellada invented the mention, “from the Set Portes one can write wine served by the glass in a tavern for the the sociology of gastronomy, another of cart transporters in the market of eccentricity, and another of the everyday Granollers. His sucessors innaugurated life in Barcelona.” They know for sure that the Fonda Europa, another symbol of this restaurant “is a symbol of Catalan Catalan cuisine. And so on, until Paco philosophy that consists of doing things Parellalda came to the Set Portes. well, preserving what you own and passing Francesc Solé mentions “This table was it down to your children, updating it and 7 my desk and there I got my degrees in increasing it.” While updating it, the 175th Economics and Engineering”. As a boy anniversary is a reason to renew it without he helped his parents and as time went on losing its positive and nostalgic ambience, he eventually combined the restaurant because as Lluis Llach sings: “Far, we work with giving classes as a professor at must go farther”. the Polytechnic University of Barcelona. This is the last after dinner conversation of He took his official exams and became a these 7 Saturdays at the Set Portes. There is full professor of Engineering- the no one left and the waiters are re- youngest in Spain. organizing everything for Sunday. A day I had to delegate runnning the for family groups. “We are now in a restaurant because the The porches cover the Set Portes, a symbol of reference of our country.” says the scientific community would professor. Before the Sagrada Familia, the not approve that an Catalan cuisine and above all a reference point for Set Portes was the first restaurant with academic was a waiter. On both residents of Barcelona and visitors as well. running water and gas light. And the the second floor was his family maestro Barea says goodbye to the readers home. “My mother, Carme with the song, “Eternally” . Parellada hosted all my cousins from friends had pictures of Che Guevarra in Paco. He used to say that if a restaurant La Seu de Urgell and Granollers and here their room and me, a photo of Pla”. goes well, the sons would study, prosper 7 cousins of mine used to live”. Once Before becoming a legend of the past, again seven. Che Guevarra visited Set Portes and was One of these is Ramón Parellada that served by Francesc. “ He came dressed in opened the restaurant, Señor Parellada, a uniform, kept his turn, he called me clone of Fonda Europa. “I was the “chico” and he ordered Paella Parellada”. assistant and driver of Josep Pla. My The myth of all the cousins is grandfather