In Bar Basque, the Eventi can brag one of the trendiest hotel restaurants around with its patriotic (red and black) décor, long, bright terrace with retractable roof and, most importantly, excellent regional cuisine and wines. The eatery, which serves breakfast, dinner and a tapas menu at the bar, was conceived by Syd Mead, set designer for films such as Blade Runner, Tron and Mission Impossible 3, and is like no other setting we have seen before. Futuristic, warm and lofty, it is filled with designer furniture, coloured spotlights and the sound of guests enjoying their food. The restaurant is divided into three parts: the interior section with which is dimly lit, more suited to romantic encounters; the terrace which is much brighter and whose roof comes off in the summer; and the bar at the end of the space which also has an inside and outside section. One unique feature of Bar Basque is the EnoMatic machine, a kind of wine vending system which allows customers to take their glass up to a display of 32 different wines and serve themselves. While this is an innovative idea and aesthetically successful, it does take the romance out of ordering wine in the more traditional sense.
The food itself, while slow in coming, is worth the wait. The croquettes are a good (and delicious) idea to start as is the superb jamón ibérico while if you are feeling ravenous go for one of the seafood appetizers such as the scallops or mackerel in escabèche. Next comes either the speciality mains such as the seafood paella or the crispy suckling pig or you can choose something from the grill, for example whole sardines or lamb chops with your choice of sides (to die for mashed potatoes, calasparra rice, seasonal veg). The portions are copious and the service is polite although not the most efficient we have come across. However the overall experience is a positive, comfortable one and can be prolonged into the night at the bar.
For something a lot less formal head next door to the FoodParc where several different concessions offer gourmet fast food in food court type setting. You have the choice between burgers, sandwiches, dumplings and dim sums, pizza, smoothies and coffee which you can enjoy inside or out back in the courtyard if the weather allows. If you can't wait to queue up then simply order at one of the screens and then take your lunch to the tiered seating which leads up to Bar Basque. This is not the place for a quiet, relaxed lunch though - loud music and big crowds at midday see to that.