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Cava producer and professor of enology Jaume Gramona, who often has a glass with his breakfast, says, ‘‘There’s a direct link between cava and the hearts of Catalonians.’’
Cava producer and professor of enology Jaume Gramona, who often has a glass with his breakfast, says, ‘‘There’s a direct link between cava and the hearts of Catalonians.’’ (Joe Ray for The Boston Globe)
 SPAIN: ¡Bravo cava!  SPAIN: Quim Sánchez's favorite cavas

If you go: Barcelona, Spain

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January 1, 2006

Where to stay

Wherever you take a room, ask for one on the courtyard or one that is quiet; the streets of Barcelona can get loud.

Hotel La Florida

Vallvidrera a Tibidabo 83-89

011-34-93-259-3000

www.hotellaflorida.com

E-mail: info@hotellaflorida.com

All Barcelona is at your feet at this upscale splurge on Mount Tibidabo. Doubles from $230, the ''design suite" $1,200.

Hotel San Augustin

Plaça de Sant Agustí 3

011-34-93-318-1658

www.hotelsa.com

E-mail: hotelsa@hotelsa.com

Perfect for those who like to be in the center of the action, only a short walk from La Rambla and on the edge of what's (arguably) becoming the city's hippest neighborhood. Doubles $170.

Hotel Paral-lel

Poeta Cabanyes 5-7

011-34-93-329-1104

www.hotelparalel.com

E-mail: info@hotelparalel.com

A nice and less-expensive option that's only a stone's throw from Quimet & Quimet. Rooms $83-$95, plus tax.

Where to eat and drink

Quimet & Quimet

Poeta Cabanyes 25

011-34-93-442-3142

Creative tapas served with cava by the glass. Dishes around $3; order several.

Pinotxo

Inside La Boqueria market

La Rambla

011-34-93-317-1731

Some of Barca's best food, cooked before your eyes in the market. A foodie paradise where top chefs stop in for a bite before doing their own shopping. A meal's worth of little dishes and drinks will run around $25. Closest thing they have to a business card is their house label bottle of cava. Good sign.

Cal Xim

Plaça Subirats, 5

08739 Sant Pau d'Ordal

011-34-93-899-3092

www.calxim.com

E-mail: restaurant@calxim.com

Here in a village above Sant Sadurní d'Anoia enjoy simple food done perfectly, much of it in a fireplace. The lamb comes from a farmer a short distance away. Roasted artichokes (in season) are wonderful. Main dishes run around $15. Let the entertaining sommelier who got tired of the Barcelona glitz guide you through their excellent wine choices. Worth renting a car just to go.

Cata 1.81

Valencia, 181

011-34-93-323-6818

E-mail: cata181@hotmail.com

Restaurantoc

Girona, 59

011-34-93-488-1148

E-mail: toc@tocbcn.com

Hard to say how long these two trendy-looking places will be around, but the local foodie crowd that frequents them is a good sign. Put on your snazziest duds, be ready to spend $50 to $100 per person, and make sure you start off with a bottle of bubbly.

Ideal Cocktail Bar

Aribau, 89

011-34-93-453-1028

This is one of the oldest and classiest bars in the city and one of the first to serve cava by the glass, $7.

Information

Barcelona Tourism Bureau

Several locations across the city

011-34-93-368-9700

www.barcelonaturisme.com

Catalonia Tourism Bureau

Palau Robert

Pg de Gràcia, 105

011-34-93-484-9900

www.catalunyaturisme.com

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