ONE OF THE BEST THINGS ABOUT STAYING AT OMM, apart from being minutes away from Casa Batlló and Milà, seconds away from YSL and Santa Eulalia and an elevator ride from Valentino -not that I shopped in any of them- is that it introduces you to Grupo Tragaluz: purveyor of style, swank and cool dining concepts in Barcelona.
A guide booklet in the bedroom isn't the most subtle way to promote one's empire of establishments but after visiting one, I couldn't help wanting to visit all.
Here are three:
1. MORDISCO Natural light, cool crowds, Scandinavian-style interiors and fresh Catalan dishes and ingredients fill the former residence of the Grupo Tragaluz family, turning it into the casual dining spot it is today. Come before 2pm to beat the lunch crowds, leave some space to try the experimental ice cream flavors, then pick up some fruits and vegetables on your way out at the in-store gourmet grocer. Love.
2. TRAGALUZ Neighboring Mordisco on Paseo de la Concepción and sitting right above El Japonés is Tragaluz, the namesake and flagship restaurant of Grupo Tragaluz. As with most of its sister restaurants, Tragaluz serves modern cuisine from an open kitchen and in a glass-roofed dining room, except this one has a loft up top functioning as a lovely-looking lounge or cocktail bar.
3. CUINES Located inside Mercado de Santa Caterina in the hip El Born district, Cuines houses four cuines or kitchens: Asian, Italian, Mediterranean and vegetarian plus a separate tapas bar by the entrance. Indoor plants, fresh seafood and shelves of wine and produce suggest a marketplace vibe to otherwise modern interiors, reminding you that yes, you're still actually in a market.
Still dreaming of the butifarra con foie.
At the end of the day, or night, it's not the easiest thing to get yourself back to the hotel, into the elevator and back into your room when the lounge downstairs is still abuzz with beautiful locals.
But there was always tomorrow, at least for the next seven days. ¡Hasta la próxima!
Hotel Omm, Mordisco, Tragaluz and Cuines Santa Caterina by Grupo Tragaluz, www.grupotragaluz.com Photos by Lady San Pedro.