Roses, lilies, carnations, marigolds... The flowers and wines that crowd the entrance mislead those who visit the new Florería Atlántico Barcelona for the first time. Are we in a cocktail bar or in a florist-wine bar?
We are in the new establishment of the renowned Argentine bartenders Tato Giovannoni (in charge of Florería Atlántico in Buenos Aires) and Diego Cabrera (of Salmón Gurú from Madrid), who after seeing how Barcelona became the epicenter of cocktail bar last October worldwide with Paradiso and Sips on the podium of The World's 50 Best Bars, they decided -although they have known each other for more than 30 years- to join forces to land in the Born neighborhood replicating the former's mother house.
In December they already had the premises -at number 19, carrer Marquès de l'Argentera, in front of the Estació de França-, well, two premises because their proposal, which has just started, is double. On the one hand, the Brasero Atlántico, at the top, a restaurant with the soul of an Argentine still life and grill, and on the other, in the basement, the Florería Atlántico cocktail bar, a more refined copy of the casual Buenos Aires matrix that for years It occupies positions in the list of the best bars in the world (in 2022 it went from 5 to 18).
To access from one to the other, all you have to do is cross a fridge and, it can already be seen in the decoration, rightly signed by the EME studio and presided over in both rooms by a large sea monster (in the first hand-painted by Giovannoni himself , who is also an illustrator, and in the basement carved in wood surrounding the entire ceiling), that if what is above is fire and mountains, what is below is water and sea.
While at the Brasero Atlántico one can feel in Argentina eating the delicious crispy sweetbreads, the cuts of meat prepared on the grill, the delicate leek empanada or the Provençal frogs that promise to become one of the hits of this place; At Florería Atlántico they have wanted to Europeanize the menu so much that they have ended up losing the essence that has led them here. There is grilled cuttlefish, eggs stuffed with caviar, prawn omelette between the main courses and starters, and some grilled fish and meat to share such as turbot by weight or recent lamb shoulder. In short, a proposal much more Mediterranean than Atlantic.
Obviously, and although they also have more than 70 references of organic and natural wines, in both spaces the cocktail bar is the common thread. The world tour proposed by Tato Giovannoni in Florería Atlántico is especially interesting, a tribute to the Mediterranean countries that migrated to Argentina helping to build a nation.
We tried two of the cocktails on this tour, the France (with GVine, verjus, Bhyer, strawberry water, plums and Mediterranean algae) and the Spain (with tempranillo, Pedro Ximenez de zetas, ratafia rousset and paprika water) and we quickly fell in love with it. We feel submerged in both countries. They are classic drinks, without great pirouettes or script twists, but in their complexity you can feel the touch and experience of this Argentine bartender.
Neither are there missing from both menus some of the cocktails that led to the success of Florería Atlántico in Buenos Aires; like the original Negroni Balestrini, with the aromatic Apóstoles Gin that Giovannoni himself distills in a winery in Mendoza, Campari, Averna, Atlantic water and smoked with eucalyptus; or the Viedma Carmen de Patagones, with pomace from seniors, palo cortado, herbal liqueur, coarse salt, sun-dried tomatoes and olives.
And be careful, because Giovannoni has already assured that this new headquarters of the Florería Atlántico on the other side of the Atlantic will be the first of many, since the idea is to replicate this project in other European cities.