The creators of Xemei and Frankie Gallo Cha Cha Cha
Brothers Max and Stefano Colombo are from Venice, but have lived for over ten years in Barcelona, where their high quality Venetian cuisine and fashionable restaurants have set new trends.
Their love affair with the city goes back years, to a time when Max was working as a chef in a restaurant in Milan and Stefano was an industrial designer. Stefano had to travel frequently to Barcelona for his work, and in 2004, after numerous trips to the city, he decided to stay. Once he had settled here, he convinced his brother Max to set up a Venetian restaurant in the city, as he believed that there was room for a new type of Italian restaurant in Barcelona. Max arrived in 2007, and together they opened their first restaurant.
Pioneers of gastronomy in Poble Sec
The legendary Xemei has become a Barcelona icon for lovers of Italian, or, more specifically, Venetian cuisine. It is located in the heart of Poble Sec, a neighborhood not known for its gastronomy at the time it was launched.
You might think you are in the Veneto when you enter Xemei, and the menu offers appetizers, pasta, fish, and seafood that are always prepared with a dash of creativity that brings out the flavor of the fresh ingredients. The restaurant has a terrace and two dining rooms with walls painted red and antique furniture to give it its warm, welcoming atmosphere.
The brothers had no hesitation in asking for advice from great chefs such as Carles Abellán, holder of a Michelin Star and owner of Tapas 24 and La Barra. Today, the Xemei attracts celebrities from the world of entertainment, politics and sport.
The Xemei restaurant has already become an icon in Barcelona for those who love Venetian food.
Max and Stefano also own the Bar Brutal, Can Pizza Prat and Frankie Gallo Cha Cha. To open the latter, they partnered with the former owner of the classic Bar Cañete, José María Parrado. The pizzeria is in the Raval and has a kitchen upstairs, where the pizzaiolo, Lollo Vuoturni, kneads the special dough that needs 72 hours to ferment.
Before opening Frankie Gallo Cha Cha, the twins had been thinking about opening a small take-away pizza place, but there were so many disadvantages that they decided not to go ahead. And that was a good decision, since they now own the best known pizzeria in the Raval.