El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, 11/12/16

img_4408
exterior

El Celler de Can Roca was on the top of the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” in 2013 and 2015, slipping to #2 this year. It still is a total dining experience, not just a meal. Located a short train ride from Barcelona, Girona is a tourist heavy town with shopping and tours of the locations where the popular TV show “Game of Thrones” has been filmed.  The restaurant takes a cab ride from the train station, as it is not right in town.  In an ivy covered building with a lovely enclosed patio is the very modern dining area.  As expected they have tons of service people and yet they overlooked the fact that one of their service carts  (which are located throughout the dining space) was located so close to our table
that they had to bump into me every time they opened a door or bent down to get something.  It was a very odd thing for a restaurant of this caliber, but they either noticed or heard me talking and pretty soon the cart was moved enough that we could both be in the area without colliding.

img_4411
down the street
img_4413
entry sign
img_4414
entry hall
img_4419
interior
img_4421
interior
img_4848
Frankie posed with the brother’s picture

Tables are large, set with nice linens, and far enough apart to provide easy and private table conversations.  They offer 2 tasting menus to choose from and excellent and generous wine pairings for both.  Josep Roca, the sommelier brother, made the rounds of the dining room to welcome guests but the other brothers did not come out.  Either menu starts with a numerous amuse complete with lots of props to accompany them and finishes with selections from the dessert cart.  The place has invested in a huge supply of interesting and custom made serving plates to serve their food on which adds to the entertainment aspect, but not the flavor component. We chose a lunch reservation and were there long enough to have it turn dark before our trip back.  We had the Feast menu with wine pairings and they nicely listed the amuse courses and the wines served on the menu they sent me home with. They also have the wonderful offering of a toothbrush in the bathroom, which is a luxury often forgotten.  Service was friendly and most of the staff was very proficient in English.

img_4418
table set up
img_4425
Frankie played with the rock table decorations
img_4426
tasting menu
img_4430
Feast menu

 

Our meal started with a amuse bouche called “The World” which offered bites with the seasonings typical of various countries.

img_4435
presentation of The World
img_4437
Thailand: thai, chicken, coriandeer, coconut, curry and lime//Japan: miso cream with nyinyonyaki// China: pickled vegetables with plum cream// Peru: “Causa limeña”//Korea: panco fried bread, bacon with soya sauce, kimchi and sesame oil
img_4438
another view

 

Next was “memories of Girona” which featured a prop with photos of each of the brothers as children and some of the things they grew up eating.

img_4431
Frankie explored the table chargers
img_4445
beginning
img_4447
prop
img_4459
set: Memories of a bar in the suburbs of Girona: breaded squid, kidneys with Sherry, Pigeon bonbon, salt cod with spinach and pinenuts, Campari bonbon

 

Options from the sea were next and then frozen green ‘olives’ hanging on the tree.  Even the little metal hangers had the “R” trademark on them.

img_4481
next snack
img_4468
Starfish
img_4472
Coral: escabeche mussels. Seabream ceviche
img_4474
closer
img_4493
Green olive’s ice cream
img_4494
closer
img_4498
Even the hanger have the symbol
img_4504
Frankie loves plants

 

The truffle amuse was a giant flavor explosion of truffle in the form of chocolates and brioche. Both really good.

img_4507
next amuse
img_4509
Truffled bonbon
img_4516
Truffle brioche

 

The bread basket was full of wonderful choices but I particularly like the flakey, buttery rolled tomato pastries.

img_4520
bread tray
img_4465
Frankie checked out the next serving plate

 

The Feast menu started with the red mullet, which was very mildly flavored.

img_4532
Red mullet with kombu with prickly pear foam, sea anemone, salicornia and Katsuobushi vinegar

 

The flower was made of onion pieces doused with a rich broth of comte cheese.  It was delicious.

img_4539
starting point
img_4540
add cheese
img_4547
closer
img_4989
Frankie got a ride on the dessert wheel

 

img_4560
Oyster with fennel sauce, black garlic, apple, seaweed, mushrooms, distilled earth and sea anemone
img_4565
closer

 

Another marvelous sauce was on the langoustine course. The perfectly cooked shellfish was served with a sauce containing mole and coconut. It was quite nice.

img_4580
serving dish
img_4583
inside
img_4588
Langoustine with cocoa bean sauce with black mole with chocolate and mantis shrimp cream with coconut and boletus edulis
img_4601
Frankie looked to see if there was any left

 

The mackerel was served with beans piped into the shape of the skeleton. It was visually fun.

img_4603
Mackerel with tempeh of “ganxet” beans
img_4617
closer
img_4843
Frankie looked over the books

 

The prawn was another visual delight with a deeply colored, rich broth made from long cooking of the heads.  Tasty.

img_4619
Prawn marinated with rice vinegar with prawn’s head sauce, crispy prawn legs, seaweed velouté and phytoplankton
img_4644
closer
img_4652
Frankie approved

 

img_4659
Red skate confit with juice of charcoal-grilled pepper and rhubarb
img_4664
closer
img_4960
Jordi Roca introduced Frankie to a new friend
img_4678
dessert cart getting filled
img_4683
Blackspot seabream with “samfaina” with blackspot seabream-bone juice
img_4691
closer

 

The Iberian pig was amazingly good, tender and full of flavor with a perfectly crisped skin.

img_4706
Iberian suckling pig with salad of green papaya, thai grapefruit, apple, coriander, chilli pepper, lime and cashew
img_4716
closer pig
img_4646
Frankie kept an eye on the bread

 

 

img_4726
Lamb with eggplant and chickpea puree, lamb’s trotters and spicy tomato
img_4749
closer
img_4755
other side
img_4974
Our nice server and Frankie

 

 

img_4762
Squab civet and its parfait
img_4777
closer squab
img_4787
Frankie was fascinated with the birds

 

 

img_4797
palate cleanser
img_4804
Frankie inspected

 

 

The server helped us choose some items from the dessert cart and then packed a box of treats for us to take with us.  She made the meal even more fun.

img_4811
beginning
img_4816
pouring
img_4818
Rainy forest with sand distilled water, carob cookie, fir tree dust, anise’s ice cream, wormwood, fennel and fir tree and fir tree granite
img_4819
another angle
img_4846
Frankie found more books

 

img_4853
Frankie thought this set of flatware was unique
img_4866
Orange colourology
img_4881
inside
img_4889
another angle

 

img_4914
Cuban cigar box: chocolate with milk, vanilla, dried plum, tobacco leaf and cocoa
img_4925
another angle
img_4938
another side
img_4955
Frankie approved
img_4957
Frankie liked the coffee cup
img_4976
Frankie on the dessert cart

img_4981

img_4991
Extra treats
img_4996
A few to go
img_5007
Frankie loves sweets

img_5017

img_5022
looking in
img_5028
large patio
img_5031
sign, it’s now dark when we leave
img_4964
Pastisser Jordi Roca and Frankie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s