Staff at a Barcelona restaurant were left amazed when a mysterious last-minute booking turned out to be for the former US president Barack Obama along with film director Steven Spielberg and singer Bruce Springsteen.
After dining on Thursday evening at the Palace Hotel’s Amar restaurant, the trio posed for a photograph with employees. The picture was posted on Instagram by staff member Pol Perello and captioned: “Pleasures that this job brings you!!”
Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, along with Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw, were in town for Springsteen’s Friday night concert at Barcelona’s Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.
The seafood dinner took place after the Obamas’ late night flight to Barcelona, according to Spanish radio network Cadena SER. Amar chef Rafa Zafra said their reservation was made only hours beforehand at the recommendation of famed Spanish-American chef José Andrés.
“José Andrés called me and told me that it was a very important table, but that we should please not say anything,” Zafra told Cadena SER. “And of course, I began to investigate and saw that Obama was coming, that Bruce had a concert…”
The group came “tired”, but keen to “try everything”, according to Zafra. During the meal, they “ate a lot” — including oysters, shellfish, and caviar — and “drank a little”.
“The one who behaved best was the one who had to work today,” Zafra said, referring to Springsteen’s Friday night concert.
On the group photo, Zafra said: “The security people told us to please not ask them for photos, but just before leaving, Obama entered the kitchen and told us that this had been one of their best meals and if they could take a photo with the whole team.”
On Friday, Barack and Michelle Obama, accompanied by Spielberg and Capshaw, visited a handful of Barcelona’s landmark cultural sites, local media reported, including the Sagrada Familia and the Moco Museum.
According to photos and videos shared by Spanish media, the Obamas — surrounded by heavy security detail — strolled around central Barcelona hand-in-hand, occasionally waving at onlookers.
Spielberg, a longtime friend of Obama’s, has been a fixture at events and holidays with the former president. During his White House tenure, Obama awarded the acclaimed director with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.
“His stories have shaped America’s story and his values have shaped our world,” the then-president said.
Obama has been friends with Springsteen since the Boss supported him on the campaign trail during the 2008 presidential election. The pair also co-hosted the 2021 podcast series “Renegades: Born in the USA”, in which they discussed their friendship, their families, music, and issues facing America.