Aürt in Barcellona, rational simplicity

A visit to Artur Martinez, a promising Catalan chef now at the helm of the restaurant inside the Hilton Diagonal Hotel

22-11-2019
The staff of ristorante Aürt, inside the Hilton

The staff of ristorante Aürt, inside the Hilton Diagonal Hotel in Barcelona. In the middle, chef Artur Martinez

In the end, Artur Martinez settled in Barcelona. To be precise, in the luxurious Hilton Diagonal Hotel, a short walk from the beach of Llevant. After following him for ten years, often visiting him in Terrassa, we knew that, from a professional and financial point of view, it made no sense to stay long in the small Capritx restaurant.

But it is there that he first started to work with the products of his region (El Vallès), many with an ecologic certificate connected with Slow Food. And it is there that he developed – partly out of obligation, partly out of lack of means, and greatly out of convinction – a small gastronomic philosophy that can be summed up with this beautiful sentence which appears on his business card and on his flag: «I prefer ragional simplicity to forced complexity».

So the comfortable barra of this new Aürt – almost an anagram of the name of the chef – is not just a simple consultancy for the hotel, but shows a strong commitment to transform this unique corner, inside the open space in the hall of the hotel, into his new home.

Onion Royale 

Onion Royale 

Piquillo pepper filled with oxtail 

Piquillo pepper filled with oxtail 

The food offers much more than respect for local food: the Catalan character of some dishes is softened by various Andalusian influences, due to his family background (as with the prawn salmorejo), with vintage and retro-modern touches, made current as in the case of the pork Papada with green pepper and trout roe, or with almost Basque ideas as in the case of the delicious calamari Tallarines with pil. Or the some French-zen classicisms, as in the case of the marvellous and minimalist Onion Royale.

Piquillo pepper filled with oxtail is another tasting not to be missed. It’s not always in the menu, which changes often, but you can sometimes find this in the menu of the informal restaurant of the hotel, located in the same space as the gastronomic establishment. Just ask for it. 

The desserts from pastry-chef Alba Llacera (ex Tickets and Pakta with Albert Adrià) deserve special attention in terms of technique and impeccable play on flavours. Plus, they’re suitable for those allergic to gluten.  Worthy of the best Nordic cuisine restaurant is the Gelato with hazelnut butter with horseradish, coffee crumble and mandarin leaf. Rich as an Andalusian dessert is instead the Sweet potato asada, with Jerez wine, coffee biscuitand an interesting hint of cocoa and chilli pepper. Details that make a difference.

Ice cream with hazelnut butter with horseradish, coffee crumble and mandarin leaf 

Ice cream with hazelnut butter with horseradish, coffee crumble and mandarin leaf 

Aürt at Hilton Diagonal
Passeig del Taulat 262-264
Barcelona, Spain
Reservations only online
Tasting menu: 70 and 95 euro
Closed the entire day on Sunday and on Monday, and at lunchtime on Tuesday 


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