10 September 1941 – 24 September 2014
Keyboard player
Leipzig and Barcelona — October 2005
October 28, 2005

Not a great deal to report from October’s gastronomic travels; Leipzig’s gentle pace of life means plenty of the expected small cafés and bier-kellers well frequented at all hours of day (and some at night, though it is not a great town for late opening). Near to the Gewandhaus concert-hall (in fact in front of the front door) is the Augustus Restaurant:

Augustus (Brasserie — Café — Restaurant)
Augustusplatz 15
04109 Leipzig
Tel. 0341 96096 03
Fax. 0341 96096 13

with friendly meals of all sizes, nice wines and great windows on all sides for people-watching and open after concerts till late. At the top of the radio building close by (29th floor) is the Panorama restaurant

Panorama Restaurant
Augustusplatz 9
04109 Leipzig
Tel. 0341 7100590
Fax. 0341 7100599

excellent day-time food and wine, no music worth worrying about and a view over a very flat city with many cranes at work trying to redeem its post-war architecture. Of the old city of Bach, Schumann and Mendelssohn there is less culinary evidence, but the

Gasthaus Alte Nikolaischule
Nikolaikirchhof 2
04109 Leipzig
Tel. 0341 2118511
Fax. 0341 2118512
Mobile. 0174 3425498

looks right, even if the service is cursory and the Auerbach Keller (now in the main pedestrian drag) needs a visit if only for the memories of Goethe’s Faust, which opens there (and was partly written there according to my waitress).

Historisches Restaurant
Grimmalsche Str. 2-4
04109 Leipzig
Tel. 0341 216100
Fax. 0341 2161011

Barcelona, usually a great dining experience, was rather spoilt by an excess of loud music or heavy cigarette smoke (sometimes both) in most eating places (the famous “4 Cats” was specially obnoxious). For music-free dining there is:

El Pintor restaurant
Sant Honorat, 7
08002 Barcelona
Tel. 93 301 40 65
Fax. 93 412 28 20

For a slightly busier and noisier atmosphere (rather like a very high class canteen but with excellent design and typography) is:

La Dolca Herminia
Magdalenes 27
08002 Barcelona
Tel. 93 317 06 76

no reservations, but the queue moves quite quickly. Josep Pons introduced me to a fine Japanese restaurant a little further north in the city:

Aribau 68
08011 Barcelona
Tel. 93 453 92 64
Fax. 93 451 36 55

And on matters of drink and music, I came across the following revelation in the BBC’s November Music Magazine:

A Grape Performance
Carlo Cignozzi, a Tuscan vineyard owner, has found that playing Mozart in his fields is having a beneficial effect on his Sangiovese grapes. Since he started spraying his crop with quavers and crotchets four years ago, Cignozzi has found that parasites and bacteria have been resisted and the grapes have matured early. Italian academics now want to research whether the link is pure coincidence or has some scientific basis. If so, they may want to get in touch with scientists at the University of Pavia who have shown that listening to music can also help to reduce stress-related heart problems... especially in those who are themselves musically trained. According to the researchers, the physiological effects of music, such as slowing the heart rate, have been shown to be greater in those who have learned an instrument than they are in non-musicians. So, get learning!