It’s mid May and we have visitors who have decided they want to visit Girona, which is all fine and dandy but today’s date is when the city wide annual flower festival, Temps de Flors begins.
But this isn’t just some ode to flower arranging and twee looking containers, it’s a smorgasbord of displays, from normal to wacky abstract. If you live here, especially within the enclaves of the old town areas then you either hunker down for nine days of constant milling crowds or, decamp the city.
The result is that such hordes must have somewhere to eat and drink, hence the almost futile task of seeking a restaurant booking on this of all days. It could prove to be easier to have met the pope. In our case, no pope-pun intended, god loves a tryer and we score a result with a 3pm booking at Draps.
Slap bang in the hustle and bustle of Girona´s old quarter, amongst numerous other eateries which includes restaurant Normal, being just opposite, another addition to the Roca brothers stable of fine dining.
Draps occupies a corner plot and it’s been here for ages but I´ve never tried it. Various family members have and have spoken of it in mainly good terms. As we wait outside for the rest of our group the whiff of curry hits my senses from the Indian restaurant a few doors down. I could’ve been easily persuaded to go there instead. We also observe the futile attempts of hungry people being turned away, too many chasing too few seats.
Table ready, we go inside and upstairs to a large round table at the far end. An immediate impression is how narrow it is. I guess the temptation is to cram in as many tables as possible but it adds to the cosiness, hence its popularity with couples. Bare stone walls are the backdrop to a warm wooden decor.
At these busy times and large throughput of diners means that it´s a set menu, their Temps de Flors offering is 33€ and we´re asked to choose our starter, main and desserts all in one go.The feather in the cap is a welcoming glass of Cava (included), Catalonia’s admirable answer to Italian Prosecco. And very nice it is too, you can buy it across a range of prices, even the 2€ version is quaffable when making a mimosa.
For starters I chose the pumpkin soup decorated with shavings of dried cured ham, which while I enjoyed the crispy bits I also got some chewy fatty croutons too. It also reminded me that whenever I order soup it invariably gets served warm, rarely hot.
A friend ordered tuna tartar (photo below) and they made a jolly good job of serving dishes so we all ate at the same time. Main dishes included a choice of duck confit, red snapper, sole or steak, which was my choice. Should have gone for the fish as my steak was passable, but redemption came in the form of a fine homemade cheesecake for dessert.
I conveniently lost count of the total glasses of wine we all had, refills were plentiful, and staff more attentive, as the place was emptying.
Verdict. When faced with sheer weight of numbers it´s fair to accept that you’ll be getting a fair meal, and have to pay a bit above what constitutes ´normal times’. It also often leaves you feeling like trying it on another occasion. Final bill, not much was added to the set price, so it came to 35€ per person.
Draps, Carrer Cort Real, 2, 17004 Girona