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Reconciliation -- and more

By Ezra Klein

I'm off for a bit. The timing is a tad inconvenient, with the election just finished and the Federal Reserve announcing $600 billion in quantitative easing, but I've got two good reasons: First, a reservation at El Bulli. You go when they say you can go. Second, Annie Lowrey has kindly agreed to marry me, and that seems worth taking a few days off to celebrate, lest she rethink her decision.

While I'm gone, you'll be in the capable hands of The Washington Post's Dylan Matthews, Mother Jones' Suzy Khimm, the Roosevelt Institute's Mike Konczal, Columbia's Dana Goldstein, Modeled Behavior's Karl Smith, and electoral-map genius and blogger Nick Beaudrot. I'll also be blogging from abroad, though probably not until early next week.

By the way, anyone got restaurant recommendations in Barcelona?

By Ezra Klein  | November 3, 2010; 6:38 PM ET
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Next: Wonkbook: Fed commits $600 billion; tax cut negotiations; Obama offers deficit hints



A restaurant reservation is a significant step in any young man's life. Oh, and that marriage thing.

Posted by: fuse | November 3, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Congrats! A dose of great news on an otherwise bleak day. Enjoy your time off!

Posted by: Matt_W1 | November 3, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Lots of people get married, but not many get to have dinner at El Bulli. Congrats for both!

Posted by: seanmcarroll | November 3, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Mazel tov, Ezra! After reading Annie Lowrey's twitter feed I was convinced the two of you had to get married already.

Posted by: 4jkb4ia | November 3, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Best of luck!

Posted by: 54465446 | November 3, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Did you propose to her on mid-term election night? I hope so, it's the most romantic night in the calendar.

Posted by: bigmandave | November 3, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, and every happiness in your future together.

Posted by: TomJx | November 3, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Restaurant in Barcelona: Cinc Sentits
Had lunch in August with the family and ordered the shorter menu, which was a stunning blend of the molecular and more traditional/rustic (included molecular takes on blood sausage, salt cod). I've been fortunate to eat my way thru most of Europe's 3star restaurants over the past 20 years (sadly not Bulli) and this blew me away. Great service (appears to be a family operation), reasonable prices (for molecular cuisine), and wonderful food (only complaint was the sous vide lamb was a bit on the rare side for my taste) .

We asked the wine steward to recommend wines by the glass to accompany each course and really enjoyed his obscure but spot on choices.

Highly Rec,

Also, while in Barcelona, book a tour of La Perdrera and don't skip La Sagrada Familia.

Posted by: flaneur1 | November 3, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Taller de Tapas on Ramblas Catalunya was great, but all the tapas places we ate were good, to be honest. And my veggie-eater wife had plenty of choices.

Champagneria is touristy, but you can't beat 7 euro bottles of cava served by charming old people. Gotta go.

Posted by: kuzmatt9 | November 3, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I'd recommend Comerc 24 and Shunka, both in the Old City, both delicious.

Posted by: NM13 | November 3, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to both of you!

Posted by: ShermanDorn | November 3, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

The Amateur Gourmet spent 10 days in Barcelona and environs on his way to El Bulli; you might want to check his blog.

Posted by: SusanB55 | November 3, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Congrats! My marriage to an Anne (Between a Man and a Woman! ;-) was, by far, the best thing to ever happen to me!

Posted by: AZProgressive | November 3, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, congratulations, Ezra, on both plighting your troth and reserving at El Bulli. I'm going to Barcelona next week myself, so your call for culinary recommendations is a windfall for me too! What a load of serendipity.

Posted by: thehersch | November 3, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Fabulous Basque Tapas...truly memorable food and of the highlights of my trip there this summer

Avinguda del Marquès de l'Argentera, 19, 08003 Barcelona

Map here:

Congrats and have a great time in Barcelona.

Posted by: neuropet | November 3, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm so happy to hear about your engagement to Annie! It is always a great delight for me whenever I hear that two genuinely nice, and very intelligent people (like you and Annie) have becomed engaged. This news has brought some much needed cheer to my otherwise bleak and despondent "day-after-the-Democrat's shellacking."

Have a wonderful vacation! Just take some time to enjoy and soak in your successful proposal to a beautiful woman, and don't worry about how terrible the next two years is going to be in politics :)

Posted by: cullenvolvo9 | November 3, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse


I don't know any Barcelona restaurants these days, but Spain is where I learned to love lamb chops. Have a chuleta for me, you two.

And then go see El Templo de la Sagrada Familia, one of the weirdest buildings on the planet, and still under construction.

While you're gone I will sit here and gnaw my wrists with envy.


Posted by: NoniMausa | November 3, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: sheredlk | November 3, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Congrats, dude. Wonkiest couple ever.

Posted by: StokeyWan | November 3, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Congrats Ezra!

Enjoy Barcelona. And my best wishes to you and Annie.

Posted by: J-NC | November 3, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

First congratulations.

Second - I'm not so sure I'm with you on the House vs. Senate thing. For one, keeping the Senate in democratic party control will make Obama's nominations (espcially a SCOTUS one) a lot easier than if the chamber had flipped; still won't be a cakewalk, but it would have been completely awful if McConnell had been the Majority Leader.

Moreover, I like the idea of the GOP being in the body that passes the most legislation. Hard for me to elaborate on that, but I think it's a good thing. Prediction: not much will be passed. Second prediction: the House GOP caucus will be a sump of idiocy and sycophancy.

Finally, the entire House is up every two years. If they goof off - and they will - it will be easier for the democrats to make an argument against the House than the Senate.

And really finally - While I will also miss the volume of legislation passed by the outgoing Congress, I really believe that the country deserves and needs a public argument between Barack Obama and Boehner's reckless, ideologically bankrupt, and silly right-wing caucus. Here's hoping it happens.

Posted by: phillycomment | November 3, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to you and best of luck to Ms. Lowrey. (I think that´s the traditional way of putting it!)

I don´t go myself much for the Sagrada Familia. The best Gaudi works IMHO in Barcelona are the Park Güell and tha Casa Mila.

El Bulli is quite a way north of Barcelona on the Costa Brava. If you go through Girona, pay your respects to the fabulous 10th-century tapestry of the Creation in the cathedral treasury. More worthy of your time than the Dalis in Cadaques.

Posted by: JamesWimberley | November 3, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Ezra!

Posted by: GopalSapparapu | November 3, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse


As for the important things - where to eat in Barcelona - you can't go wrong stopping in to a few of the tapas restaurants along La Rambla. A walk along the street in the evening taking in the sights and foods, is a great way to spend the evening. The Boqueria open air market is a great place to go too. Hams, padrons, porcinis. The vendors there have everything.

Posted by: enormousturnip | November 3, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

may you and beautiful annie
be blessed forever!

wishing you every good thing,
bright and beautiful!
may you always be together
in love, sacredness and light!

Posted by: jkaren | November 3, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, I've been reading you with dismay and delight for 4 years now. My sincerely best wishes and congratulations.

Posted by: Klug | November 3, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Cal Pep for tapas in Barcelona. I still dream of their razor clams...

Posted by: wanderingeditor | November 3, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Comgratulatins, Klein, you sap!

Posted by: slag | November 3, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations! I am personally a fan of Taxidermista in Barcelona. I'm sure their entrees are great, but we just enjoyed the tapas there, and ate amazing plates of patatas bravas and chorizo, among other things. It's situated in a really pretty plaza off of La Rambla.

Posted by: vitaminb12 | November 3, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Mazel tov!

Posted by: annielev | November 3, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations and best wishes to you both!

Posted by: mcfiddish | November 3, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Ezra: that's a rare catch... since El Bulli will close next year. (You have the rest of your life, ideally, to enjoy marriage. El Bulli reservations, not quite so much. But congratulations on the former too.)

El Bulli will get you out of Barcelona, but you should also consider a trip up to Girona.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | November 3, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse


May your marriage bring you as much joy as mine has for me.

We ate well in Barceloneta and had great razor clams and chiperones in Sitges.

Posted by: Randinho | November 3, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: mschol17 | November 3, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

After my husband and I went to Alinea last month, I've been meaning to tell you "JUST GO!" But El Bulli should be fantastic too.

We had a fantastic meal at Cinc Sentits in Barcelona -- creative, delicious Catalan cuisine and wonderful Catalan wine pairings.

Congratulations and have a wonderful trip!

Posted by: octeckels | November 3, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

mazel tov! the very best of wishes for both of you.

Posted by: bdballard | November 3, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations! I'm a big supporter of marriage equality for nerds and wonks, so I think this is fabulous! Have a wonderful time in Spain.

Posted by: BldrJanet | November 3, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to both of you!

Posted by: Hopeful9 | November 3, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations! As someone who is exactly five years younger than you (to the day), it's strange thinking that I could be tying the knot at that point.

Posted by: wcampb17 | November 4, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

When in god's name did you find time to date?

Posted by: TomCantlon | November 4, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations! On both the restaurant and the engagement. And welcome to Europe. Do me a favor and put in a plug for vegetarian mains on the menus at top restaurants.

Posted by: KathyF | November 4, 2010 3:10 AM | Report abuse

Congrats, Ezra. Who would have thought, all those years ago on Pandagon, that we'd be here today. Well done all around, sir.

Posted by: MosBen | November 4, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse


Tom's Postcard from Barcelona:

Posted by: wiredog | November 4, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations, you two!

Posted by: csdiego | November 4, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations! While its not really a restuarant, I highly recommend La Champagneria. You get hefty sandwiches with each bottle. :) It is definitely a lot of fun and a good place to mingle.

Posted by: kisfiu | November 4, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Congrats! BTW, elBulli while good, is overrated. The nearby beaches are nice though.

Posted by: illogicbuster | November 4, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Was just in Barcelona. Tapac 24 was easily the best place. Go there! And you do not need a reservation. The wait goes quickly.

Your fiancee will like Bubo. Festive place, good tapas and the chocolate is fantastic.

Cal Pep was also good (best clam sauce ever). Friendly owner.

Do yourself a favor and make sure you go to Park Guel. Simply amazing views. Can't miss it.

Posted by: fiorehoffmann | November 4, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations Ezra!

Posted by: justin84 | November 4, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations Ezra!

You will be missed. I hope you and Annie have a great time in Barcelona.

Posted by: pparris | November 4, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Mazel tov and congratulations. I wish you much happiness.

Posted by: punchaxverulam | November 4, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Congrats, Ezra. Hope you both return recharged. (We were in Barcelona in September and still feel like we're not "back" yet..)

Highly recommend La Pineda, a xarcuteria at Carrer del Pi, 16 in Bari Gotic. Just ask for two tinto, a plate of jamon, and of course, pan con tomates.. Shopkeepers from the neighborhood stop by here before their evening rush on La Rambla...

And a nice place in the Poble Sec neighborhood, at the foot of MontJuic,is Quimet & Quimet at Poeta Cabanyes, 25. Dozens of platters of tapas to choose from, the place is packed with chowhounds. Really a fabulous place.

I'd vote for the Romanesque section of the National Art Museum before taking the time to fight the tourist scene at Sagrada Familia. Frescoes from a dozen churches in Cataluyna were rescued and installed in rooms that replicate the original church. Worthy of pilgrimage. (And spring for the audio guide. Very well done.)

And if the football team Barca is playing, do it!

Enjoy. We'll miss you...

Posted by: jkeller4 | November 4, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Ezra! It's nice to have some good news. May you and Annie have many happy years together. :)

Posted by: LynnDee227 | November 4, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

OMG! Congratulations to you both. (On the engagement, not the reservation...though it is the perfect way to celebrate!)

Or, as they will say to you at El Bulli: ¡Enhorabuena!

Posted by: ajw_93 | November 4, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

If you can keep on burying the lede like that, you'll have a long future at the Post. Congratulations to both of you.

Posted by: tomveiltomveil | November 4, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations Ezra & Annie. Have fun.

Posted by: BHeffernan1 | November 4, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to the both of you! But Barcelona!? You're going to give the rest of us a bad name. Note to self - must take fiancee to Spain immediately.

And, really, I must back up jkeller4's most intelligent comment. Food means nothing in Barca - you must instead treat yourself to the sublime footballing skills of the imperious Xavi, the irrepressible Iniesta, and the incomparable Messi and the Nou Camp. To go to Barca and NOT watch them play is like going to El Bulli and asking for a hot dog. Shudder.


Posted by: strawman | November 4, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: tuber | November 4, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Mazel tov!! Congratulations, that's wonderful news. I hope you have a wonderful life together, and enjoy your reservation at El Bulli (I'm jealous).

I second the recommendation to visit Park Güell if you get to nothing else in Barcelona. It remains in my mind the most beautiful place I've ever been.

Posted by: madjoy | November 4, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

My "Best cook I know/super smart programmer friend" just spent 3 months in barcelona. While he couldn't get to El Bulli, he did point out some awesome stuff,

Posted by: chargeorge | November 4, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to you and best wishes to the bride! How fabulous!

Posted by: ania8 | November 4, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Please go to Quimet and Quimet! It's a fantastic, standing-room only tapas bar and they also serve some home (Belgian) brewed beer.

Also do yourself a favor and skip Tapac 24... it was a total bust.

Bacelona is my favorite city in the world, you'll enjoy it.

Posted by: adam22rubin | November 4, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations! Barcelona is fabulous - don't miss the Picasso museum, La Sagrada Familia, or the Parc Guell.

Our favorite restaurant was La Quinze Nuits, in a plaza off Las Ramblas. It opens at 8 pm, but it's first come, first served, so get there early.


Posted by: lloydcat | November 5, 2010 2:18 AM | Report abuse

Congratulation Ezra, from a long time reader.

And I have to add my name to the list of people encouraging you to go to a Barcelona football match. It would add so much to your Barcelona experience, and Lionel Messi is greatest player of our generation.

Posted by: neilinottawa | November 5, 2010 4:22 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations Ezra! I wish you the best!

Posted by: RichardHSerlin | November 6, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Now that's one instance of you selling out that I approve, Ezra!
Congratulations. What a beautiful lady, you lucky bastard! And you both seem to have a lot of common interests. All the best!

Posted by: Gray62 | November 6, 2010 4:37 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations. I've been reading your work since you were a 19 YO sophomore at UCSC writing with Jesse at Pandagon. Hard to believe so much time has passed. You get better and better every year.

Posted by: flory1 | November 7, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse

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