Cal Ton: Locally Sourced Tradition and Quality

Gastronomy

01/03/2017

The center of Vilafranca del Penedès is home to a timeless classic, a restaurant integrated into the very fabric of the town's identity. It opened its doors during the Fiesta Mayor, the town festival, in 1982 and has been serving customers with the same unwavering enthusiasm ever since.

Cal Ton is a family-owned restaurant, run by three relatives. Ton Mata, his sister Montse, and Àlvar Salas, Montse's husband and Ton's brother-in-law. They get along amazingly well. Their shared trust and camaraderie is reflected in the entire operation. As for experience, they have plenty. Ton has been cooking for over 50 years. After more than a decade in Barcelona, he and his wife decided to open Cal Ton in a typical house in Vilafranca's town center. Ten years later, they bought the adjacent house to expand their restaurant. They currently seat up to 70 diners and have nine staff members working on weekends. A natural evolution.

Ton defines his culinary style as “a contemporary take on Catalan cuisine.” He works with Catalan classics, the kind one often “remembers with longing.” Their cooking skills are completely self-taught. “We learned on our own through a lot of trial and error.” The end result is pretty remarkable. They have a loyal regular clientele that appreciates what they do. “You have to put in long hours. Effort and sacrifice are essential to running a restaurant.” They admit they never check the time. “If we kept track of the hours, we'd lose our minds,” Àlvar insists.

Captura de pantalla 2017-02-28 a las 17.40.34

Locally sourced ingredients

 The menu brims with seasonal and locally sourced products. First-rate raw materials like fresh, wild-caught fish from Vilanova, bacon from Sant Pau d'Ordal, and, of course, the Penedès’s very own indigenous cockerel. No additives. Thoroughly organic. Cal Ton's star dish? The mini cannelloni with St. George's mushroom sauce, hands down. The team admits that every December 24th, they close the restaurant and prepare special orders from 9 am to 8 pm. “These cannelloni have traveled as far as the United States,” Àlvar remarks.

The menu is very varied and features eight to nine starters, ten to twelve main courses, and several house-made desserts. Guests can also opt for a tasting menu or a selection of five tapas plus a main course of their choice. On average, the bill comes to about €50 per person.

Now, what about wines? The list is put together with care. It features a wide selection representing most Catalan and Spanish appellations of origin. The Penedès section includes five Jean Leon wines. The Rosé and Chardonnay from our 3055 range, plus Vinya Le Havre and Vinya Gigi, two of our Single Vineyard Wines. In addition, Cal Ton recently added X-15, our experimental Xarel·lo varietal, to their list. “Jean Leon wines give us prestige,” says Àlvar, “They are quality wines, but most importantly, they are very good wines.

Cal Ton opened in 1982 and has been a landmark Penedès restaurant for 34 years. If they keep this up, we'll see a second generation helming the kitchen! ;)

Categorías: Gastronomy