I remember the first meal I had in Barcelona came highly recommended. Can Solé. Two hours of paella, croquettes, and fork-full after fork-full of chorizo and jamón. Being from the Old Pork State, I thought I had a Ph.D. in pig but ibérico and serrano were advanced level swine. The smooth yet rich, light yet profound, salt flavors were tastes virgin to my palate. These flavors, along with an added punch of spice, permeated the entire meal. Crunchy croquettes, clams atop moist rice, cuttlefish and noodles floating in a bath of peppery garlic sauce. A delightfully intense flavor I have yet to find outside of Spain. That is until I stumbled upon Malabar, an intimate but vibrant uptown Spanish restaurant nestled on the corner of the Hearst plaza across from the Foundation For The Carolina’s. Here, the offerings abound. Fresh, made-to-order paellas featuring mussels, crayfish, calimari, chorizo and more delight the tastebuds. Their world-class charcuterie is a staple. Malabars beautiful white marble bar features a leg of Iberico ham held by a Barcelona red hand-cranked slicer delivering exceptionally thin charcuterie. Salty serrano is available as well as other selections. Along with the wide variety of proper Spanish cuisine, the restaurant also offers the popular sangrias and regional Spanish wines that keep this gem bustling. For more information about Malabar or to see their impressive menu visit them at www.conterestaurantgroup.com/malabar.