What a great name for a tapas bar! This roughly translates as ‘The Cat’s Wine Cellar’ but it does sound cooler in Spanish. Arguably, this is still one of Valencia’s best kept secrets and it is nicely hidden away in a mellow corner of the historic centre. Over the years, members of the ‘24/7 Valencia’ team have been enjoying their wide variety of classic Spanish tapas. We enjoyed some grilled octopus cooked to perfection. We savoured tasty cod tapas and ended with a memorable pumpkin & yoghurt dessert with a very crunchy pastry base. This particular evening of sharing tapas was accompanied by a distinctive ‘Caprasia’ Bobal Merlot organic red wine (from Utiel-Requena) with a long finish.
In a modern world obsessed with social media, there is something refreshingly ‘old school’ about a tapas bar that relies instead on word of mouth to reach the public. The staff was welcoming and the service informative, pleasant & efficient throughout the evening.
The music soundtrack was sensual & superb. A heady and nostalgic mixture of Bossa Nova, French Chanson, Gypsy and Cuban sounds of yesteryear.
We sat down with the amiable & experienced Head Chef, for an exclusive interview, before the diners started to arrive.
24/7 Valencia: How did ‘Bodeguilla del Gato’ begin?
Head Chef: It was founded in 1998 by the current owners and it started out as a simple tapas bar with cheeses and tablas but it has evolved & developed into the classic Spanish tapas bar that we know today, with far more choice than when it began.
What are your specialties?
They include our ‘Rabo de Toro’ and our famous tortilla, squid and our croquettes. Regarding Valencia, we have ‘Esgarraet’ the cod & red peppers dish of the region. Our tapas come from various provinces of Spain. Our bull’s tail is stewed in the Cordobese style. We prepare our dishes with love, listen to the feedback of our clients, adapt & revise accordingly and always aim to serve the very best tapas that we can.
Could you describe the interior?
It’s somewhat baroque, charged and warm with lots of paintings, posters and illustrations related to Spain on the whole. There’s something for everybody.
What is different at the weekends?
We have six dishes that you won’t find in the carta during the week like smoked salmon tartare, el foie, a crunchy gorgonzola cheese & ibérico ham combination, tasty garlic prawns and more.
Any visitors that have stood out?
We have a photo on the wall of the famous flamenco singer Enrique Morente in our restaurant with the owners of ‘La Bodeguilla del Gato’ and we have had a few sports stars over the years. We get a wide range of public from Spain and abroad. A fair number tell us that they have been recommended to try our tapas specialties via pages like TripAdvisor. It is recommended that you book in advance or come early as it can get busy here and not just at the weekends…
Report by ’24/7 Valencia’ team
Article copyright ’24/7 Valencia’
LA BODEGUILLA DEL GATO
C/ Catalans, 10
Tel:96 391 82 35
Open everyday from 20.30h to 24h
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