All posts tagged: restaurants

Costa Brava’s white paradise – Cadaqués

 I’d already heard quite a lot of things about the former fishing village – the typical Cadaqués style, the unique location and the views to numerous snow white houses made me feel very excited. Let’s see whether the white town of Dalí can sweep me off my feet ..

Stunning views

Spectacular views accompany you on your way to Cadaqués!

The rather twisting road on our way to Cadaqués already turned the car ride into a small experience: gliding from left to right and admiring one stunning view after another – I guess I could already imagine what the city has to offer. I couldn’t lay my phone aside for as much as 2 minutes before having to take way too many pictures of the wonderful bays and harbours again.

But heads up! Be careful and don’t let your phone drop out of the car – you wouldn’t be able to get it back …

White paradise

After a car ride of about 15 minutes and 25 new pictures in my camera roll, we finally arrived: I had a small paradise right in front of me! Whether it is possible that absolutely every house in a village is painted white? So it seems. Whether it may be forbidden to build a house of a different colour here? I’d love to find out … Maybe I’ll know soon if I keep visiting and talking to locals!

Definitely worth visiting..

I have to admit, I was speechless: numerous snow white houses, green pine-trees, a beautiful church that attracts the views because of its height, the mountains behind it and the light blue sea with lots of white boats in front of Cadaqués. A stunning village! You have to visit once you are staying in Catalonia!

Restaurant Cap de Creus

But the car ride wasn’t over yet – again through the mountains! My phone’s camera had a busy day ..

Our destination was the restaurant Cap de Creus right next to the light house of Cadaqués. I could describe the evening in this stunning restaurant with one single word: WOW! I was and still am really impressed. It doesn’t matter where you’re sitting, the views are spectacular everywhere. In addition, a live band starts playing beautiful music just before sunset which brings the atmosphere to a maximum.

Chilling in a restaurant with a live band at the top of the mountains, holding a cold drink in your hand and watching the fantastic sunset – I don’t know if there’s something that could possibly be better than this!

Dinner in Cadaqués

After having extended my photo albums by more than 50 pictures and videos, it was time to return to the city centre of Cadaqués. In situ, we spent some time drinking a beer in front of a crowded bar next to the beach and went to the pizzeria Plaza after that: the only restaurant that could offer a table for 12 persons at nine in the evening without a reservation – the peak season was quite noticeable. After a delicious dinner including pizza, mussels, pasta and a free round of shots, we kept going.

Bar Boia Nit

The ultimate destination was the popular bar Boia Nit, which is very famous for its stunning cocktails. Of course I had to check whether they are really that good.

So, I ordered a piña colada and was quite surprised to watch my cocktail arriving in a pineapple-shaped cup! But not just that: decorated with many small fruits, sipping the cocktail turned into a unique flavour experience! Get over there and try it. You won’t be disappointed!

Beautiful cocktail that tastes fantastic!

Not the last time..

Finally, we finished our special cocktails and spent some time talking and relaxing before heading back home. But: Cadaqués, I’ll be back soon!

In the mood for a hike: Camino de Ronda

Admire one stunning bay after another and having the wonderful, turquoise blue sea continuously right in front of you? Going for a swim, relaxing in the sun and afterwards putting your hiking boots back on? In between, snacking a small treat in a restaurant with spectacular views to the sea and sipping a cool mojito later at sunset?

That sounds great to you? Well then, you will love the famous coastal path of the Costa Brava which has, for the most parts, been left in its natural state.

 

Camino de Ronda

With a length of approx. 45 km, the so-called Camino the Ronda offers infinite possibilities to enjoy the beauty of the Costa Brava with all of your senses. Whether you like to take a chance on the whole path within 2 days – like a professional hiker – or prefer walking only a small section on a sunny afternoon – it’s your choice. But I guarantee you won’t regret a single step!

 

 

 

Insider Tip: Cala Calitjàs

On a warm day of summer, we decided to visit the bay called “Cala Calitjàs“ in Roses, which persuades with a gravel beach and spectacular views to the light blue sea. On a holiday with perfect weather for bathing in middle of high season, I expected the beach to be overcrowded without air to breathe. I was quite surprised noticing that we had to share the spacious gravel area with less than 25 persons. Definitely an insider tip!

 

 

Next Bay: Cala Pelosa

After taking a refreshing bath in the cool salt water, we enjoyed the sun for a while – listening to the soft sound of the sea. Until our rumbling stomachs finally reminded us that it was already siesta time! Fortunately, we had organized a table in the famous restaurant called “Chiringuito La Pelosa“ before. The idea of a juicy paella with fresh seafood motivated us to leave the comfortable beach and hike to the next bay, the so-called “Cala Pelosa“, using the Camino de Ronda.

 

 

Hiking with spectacular views

Having walked only a few meters, I already understood why so many fans of Spain decide to walk the whole path: the views were continuously spectacular! Permanently, I had to stop to take some pictures of the dream scenery.

You can’t get enough of these wonderful views!

But I have to admit that I’ve been a little torn: On the one hand, I had to concentrate not to loose my footing and fall into the enormous cacti and on the other hand, I couldn’t help but admire  the crystal clear water, which sparkled in the sun and was decorated with numerous, luxurious boats and yachts. It’s better holding on for a minute now and again, otherwise it could get quite dangerous!

Restaurant “Chiringuito La Pelosa“

While we made our way through the prickly pears and palms, some passengers of boats in the distance seemed to have a lot of fun – boat party ahoy!

By the way, the restaurant has a boat service that delivers the paella!

 

Sooner than I expected, we reached the beautiful beach “Cala Pelosa“. At a distance, we already heard the chaos of different voices, clacking crockery and the clangour of glasses – the restaurant was at its peak. Whether we had to wait in spite of reserving? Unfortunately, yes. Whether it’s worth it? Definitely!

But the waiting period could be much worse: Chilling in a bar with comfortable seats and views to the sea – even the most impatient of you guys would survive this!

 

 

Paella – we’re coming!

After 1-2 cool refreshments, our names were called and we were brought to our table – with a great anticipation of our delicious meal. It didn’t take us more than 5 minutes to decide what to eat: a big paella with seafood and a few starters, to that of course a wine. As quickly as the starters arrived, they were gone again: A tuna fish tatar, salad, calamari, bread – well, that was tasty!

    

After resting a while, there was enough space in our stomachs for what we had been waiting for the whole time: The paella! Mhh smells delicious … I’ve never eaten paella before – a big mistake as I recognized. I’ve rarely tasted something so special! The Spanish people know exactly how to spoil their guests.

A very special taste experience..

A final selfie before leaving..

Finally some cocktails..

Satisfied and sated, we walked over to the bar to treat ourselves with some mojitos. After taking a few last pictures, we set off back home. Why don’t we spend every day like that? I’d love that!

Three restaurant chefs

Disfrutar in Barcelona wins the ‘Miele One to Watch’ Award 2017

Restaurant run by former El Bulli chefs as global rising star

Disfrutar in Barcelona has been named this year’s Miele One To Watch by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Opened in December 2014, Disfrutar is a collaboration between chefs Mateu Casañas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch. The three met while cooking at former No.1 restaurant El Bulli, where they worked alongside legendary Spanish chef Ferran Adrià.

Disfrutar as one of  the world’s 50 best restaurants

Disfrutar’s founders will be presented with the coveted award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in Melbourne on April 5th. The Miele One To Watch Award celebrates emerging global talent and recognizes a restaurant that is outside the 50 Best itself but has the potential to rise up the list in the near future.

Front of Disfrutar restaurant

The modern front of the restaurant. (photo: Adri Goula)

“Worthy winners of the Miele One To Watch Award”

William Drew, Group Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, said: “Disfrutar showcases the individual talents of these three chefs and broadens their influence on Spain’s culinary scene. Their commitment to pushing the creative boundaries of gastronomy makes them worthy winners of the Miele One To Watch Award.”

Inside the restaurant

From inside, the new restaurant has an understated elegance. (photo: Adri Goula)

Disfrutar – a symbolic nod to Barcelona’s cultural heritage

Following El Bulli’s 2011 closure, Casañas, Castro and Xatruch opened „Compartir“ (meaning “share”) in Cadaqués. Building on the success of their initial venture, the trio launched Disfrutar (meaning “to enjoy”) to widespread acclaim, earning their first Michelin star in 2016. Centrally located in Barcelona’s Eixample district, Disfrutar evokes a Mediterranean spirit with its décor and laid-back ambience. Beyond the entrance, guests walk past two open kitchens and are led into the spacious, whitewashed dining room that extends to an open terrace. Bright and earth-coloured ceramics in various forms dominate the space, a symbolic nod to Barcelona’s cultural heritage and the restaurant’s focus on artistry.

Disfrutar's kitchen design

With its earth-coloured ceramics and the open kitchen, Disfrutar evokes a Mediterranean spirit, indeed. (photo: Adri Goula)

Macaroni made out of gelatin

While Disfrutar’s multi-course tasting menus uphold modernist culinary principles, they also reveal the chefs’ quirky personalities. Avantgarde, theatrical and inventive, each course aims to delight and excite the senses. Signature dishes include macaroni made from gelatin, tossed in truffle foam and smothered in Parmesan at the table. A deconstructed whisky tart invites guests to wash their hands in whisky and inhale the scent as they eat.

Ferran Adrià with his colleagues

“El Bulli 1846” – What comes after the molecular cuisine?

El Bulli 1846

Ferran Adrià, considered one of the best chefs in the world, wants to reinvent the world of gastronomy. In the street Cala Montjoi in Roses on the Costa Brava, where the best restaurant in the world “El Bulli” once welcomed gourmets from all over the world, “El Bulli 1846” is expected to open: It is not a restaurant, but an exhibition of “El Bulli’s” history.

Bulli-foundation

Exhibition of “El Bulli’s” history

 

The number 1846 stands for the number of the meals, which Ferran Adrià has invented in his restaurant “El Bulli” in the street Cala Montjoi. He has sworn not to copy meals from other chefs.

There are also days, where he cooks for companies or for certain occasions in Cala Montjoi –of course not a normal meal, but even more experimental. Generally, it is about the science and creative projects, new ideas and the exhibition concepts.

Egg molecular

Cooking is all about science

The philosophy

The philosophy is: to devour the knowledge, in order to nurture the creativity. Exploring everything you need to know about food, questioning everything and rearranging.
“Who says that a tomato is a tomato?” asks Ferran Adrià. “Is this rather an imaginary reality, the one we want to believe in?”, he adds. Adrià likes himself in the role of provocateur. Deconstruction and reconstruction of the kitchen remains his central topic. His molecular cuisine has revolutionized the gastronomy for over two decades. Now he cooks knowledge.
Art historians, designers, graphic designers, chefs – all of them are inserting their knowledge into the so-called “Bullipedia” – the Wikipedia of food science.

Experimental kitchen at the Bulli

One of Adrià’s best examples for molecular cuisine

Sponsors

“The kitchen as a field of research, there has never been anything like it.”, Adrià proudly says.
In order to run the projects, you need a lot of money. No problem for Adrià: His sponsors are not only Telefonica, but also Lavazza, Dom Pérignon and the CaixaBank.

One of Adrià's master pieces

Food as a piece of art

Chocolate dream.

Cuisine as an artistic creation to delight the senses

The world’s best restaurant is located in Spain – again! At this year’s Top 50 ranking of the prestigious “Restaurant Magazine” in London, “El Celler de Can Roca” from Girona was selected to the first place. The restaurant, which has also been awarded with three Michelin stars, was opened in 1986 by Joan and Josep Roca as a typical Catalan restaurant near their parent’s bar. Today it is run by three brothers -Joan (chef), Josep (sommelier) and Jordi (pastry) – and well known for the combinations of Catalan cuisine, innovative techniques and the passionate service of its owners. Since 2011, the restaurant of the Roca brothers had been on the second place of the global ranking.

Beautiful dishes.

Cuisine as an artistic creation to delight the senses – this is the way gastronomy is seen in Spain. A range of five-star culinary attractions offering a world of tastes, presentation, aroma, textures, colour… Dishes by chefs such as Adrià, Arzak, Berasategui, Ruscalleda, Santamaría, Subijana and Roca have placed Spain at the forefront of international haute cuisine.The new Spanish chefs are artists in the kitchen, as is amply manifested by their enormous international renown. The hallmark of the work of these new culinary artists is its originality and innovation, combining the traditional Mediterranean cuisine with original and creative ideas. The importance of this new cuisine in Spanish culture is such that the chef José Andrés was awarded the Spanish Order of Arts and Letters in 2010.

Cocktail time!

International prestige – there are many restaurants in Spain which have been distinguished for their outstanding quality and creativity. Throughout the country there are around 150 Michelin-starred establishments, seven of which have been awarded the maximum distinction: one in the Region of Valencia, two in Catalonia, and four in the Basque Country.In Catalonia diners can enjoy the restaurants of “Celler Can Roca” and “Sant Pau”, in the province of Girona.

In the first, located in the city of Girona, the Roca brothers use their culinary creativity to convey a range of emotions. Carme Ruscalleda, on the other hand, offers a modern take on traditional Catalan gastronomy in her restaurant “Sant Pau”, with views over the sea and located in Sant Pol de Mar. There are many other restaurants that have attracted international attention. They include “Enoteca”, “Moments”, “Lasarte” and “Àbac” in Barcelona; “Can Fabes” in Sant Celoni (province of Barcelona); “Les Cols” in Olot, and “Miramar” in Llança (province of Girona).

The El Bulli of the future – Ferrán Adrià has for many years been the standard-bearer of Spanish haute cuisine, and his restaurant, El Bulli, has been considered by many to be the best in the world. However, in July 2011 he closed down the restaurant to take on a new and ambitious project: the “El Bulli Foundation”.The aim is to create a centre for gastronomic creativity in order to spark new ideas in the kitchen and to share them at the international level.

Legendary El Bulli Restaurant

There are plenty of culinary highlights at the Costa Brava and in the surrounding areas with tapas, anchovies and Cava only representing a very small fraction of the infinite possibilities indeed.Small fishing villages turn out to be a source of culinary delicacies, dreamy towns tucked away in the mountains are known for their Mediterranean treats prepared in the traditional stone ovens, and where the oceans kiss the mountains internationally renown wines and Cava are grown.

The kiss of the mountains and the sea, or Mar i muntanya, is a common topic in Catalan dishes. Chicken and giant prawns for example, or Catalan Paella, a dish of meat and seafood. They also like to combine the sweet and the spicy, as in “pork and peach”. A people prone to experiment with tastes and textures the Spanish are thus not easy to surprise. The chefs in Catalan hotels and restaurants are constantly performing a balancing act between the old and the new, between tradition and modern ideas. In a big number of restaurants, the guests are offered unique dishes and innovative menus known as “Cocina de Autor”.

The dishes are as diverse as they are unique and entertaining. Ranging from simple Tapas, there is ample scope for more daring dishes, such as “Mar i muntanya”. There are no limits to what is possible – just think of Ferran Adriá and his famous molecular gastronomy.The Guide Michelin has known this all along. For many years, the Costa Brava has been featuring a very high number of Michelin stars as well as an equally high number of young, keen chefs. Joan Roca in Girona was awarded his third star 2009, and there were plenty of other chefs in the back country work magic using the region’s freshest and most tasty products. They also aim for internationality: traditional dishes are combined with eastern notes, while the most well known Mediterranean dishes also are given new aspects.

Seafood is one of the specialities.

Cooking has been considered a beautiful art in Catalonia for a long time. Indeed, the first cookbook published in a Roman language has been around much longer than Ferran Adría and much longer still than his participation at the Documenta. Said cookbook was published in Catalonia in the 14th century: “El Llibre de Sent Soví”.If you ever spot steaks and giant prawn in dark chocolate on the menu – do not be too surprised; this is just a tribute to the master of surrealism, Salvador Dalí.

His appetite is almost proverbial in Catalonia and even made it into a book: “Salvador Dalí – delightful Catalonian dishes”. At the age of six, little Dalí already claimed he wanted to be a cook when he grew up. Later, as the genius became an artist, and a mastermind of marketing who knew very well how sell himself, he also become known for his love of good food. Rumour has it that he used to say, “you can go without eating, but you cannot go without eating well.” One of his favourite meals used to be giant prawns in dark chocolate!!

Gourmets visiting the Costa Brava well get their money’s worth. Firstly, the upscale restaurants with their world famous chefs and extraordinary service are comparatively inexpensive and secondly, some of the less well-known restaurants tucked away in a corner of the countryside offer just as many culinary treats. The region’s excellent wines are also good value for money. Most restaurants offer a three course lunch throughout the week, water and wine included, for about 9 to 19 Euro. In the evenings and on weekends, there is more to choose from on the menu, but dishes are also more expansive and drinks are not included. After supper, there are plenty of pubs and Chilinguitas to go to. It is summer after all!

A bit of champain?

Travels including cuisine, sports and culture are all the rage these days. The Costa Brava offers all of this and more. Accomodations are easy to find and just as eclectic as the rest of the country. There are Masia- Hotels in the back – country, lovingly restored to their former beauty. They invite the guests to stay and relax in the spa. Luxury hotels near the sea are more international, offering high-quality service and stunning views onto the ocean. On the other hand, there are cosy, family-run houses. Those are very friendly places with a convincingly personal service.

The families are always happy to provide detailed information on excursions and day-trips. Furthermore, the Costa Brava is also known for its well-kept golfing areas. You can find more information about the Costa Brava, restaurants, hotels and the back counrty on our webpage.