Cinc Sentits, Moo or Alkimia?
Rejected at El-Bulli, so now I have to find one that will remotely come close. I know Can Fabes is probably a better choice, but with our schedule, we probably will not be able to do it (if El-Bulli calls me though when they have a cancellation, I will drop everything to get there!). Among the 3 choices above, which one would be the best choice, especially if I want to try the whole experimental, Catalan-food experience? How much would it set me back?
You may think we're ignoring you - but the fact is that almost this same question has been asked 3 or 4 times already this year.
Some of the links:
IMO it's worth a day trip to Can Roca in Girona for lunch (train takes about an hour). Moo has same ownership - but chef not in 'residence'.
Cinc Sentits is very comfortable for tourists as English is spoken, but I find it overrated. And Alkimia was closed when I last tried to get in - but it's on my list too!
But use the search feature at the top of the page to find other comments.
Of the three restaurants that you mentioned, Moo is the most experimental. I ate there four years ago when it first opened. The food was good but a pale comparision to the Roca's brothers' restaurant in Girona. I've heard that the food and service have improved since. I think the tasting menu was 70E. I agree with the above poster and recommend the easy train for lunch at El Celler in Girona. I've eaten there three times and two of the meals were the best that I've had in Spain, though last October's lunch was not quite as good.
I ate at both Alkimia and Cinc Sentits two years ago. Both were very good and better then the meal I had at Moo. I think Alkimia is more experimental than Cinc Sentits. The tasting menu was 60E and had more courses, though smaller portions, than Cinc Sentits where the menu was about 50E. The meal at Alkimia had more ups and downs whereas each course at Cinc Sentits was extremely well thought out. I don't agree that Cinc Sentits is over-rated though it is very popular with English speaking diners. I posted under PB on one of the above links.
My wife and I were just in Girona and Barcelona in May and I had the best meal I have ever had at El Celler Can Roca. It was definitely conceptual but not overly so. We had the most extensive tasting menu and it was, as I recall about 90E. There were several other options. The Catalonian wine was very reasonable.
BTW This is an interesting piece of gossip. I was visiting the kitchen after our meal and the waiter told me that they had a new American chef. As it turns out that chef was Ryan Poli, previously of Butter in Chicago!
I don't speak much Spanish nor Catalan and have had no problem taking the train from Barcelona to Girona and then a taxi or a 20 minute walk to Can Roca. The staff speaks English so there is no problem with the menu. Same for Can Fabes which is definitely less experimental but I think is one of the best restaurant in Spain. Since the train does not run late at night, lunch would be the option unless one drives or spend the night in Girona (or in Sant Celoni for Can Fabes).
Sorry if this more of less a duplicate post. I thought I hit "post" before but it doesn't look like I did and my prior post is lost.
Ryan Poli is really into the experimental molecular gastronomy. He is amazing and got RAVE reviews at Butter, where he was executive chef. I remember at Butter we had a really creative amuse: "guacamole" shooter with "chips" foam. Don't worry though, Chicago posters on EGullet seem to think he is likely just doing a stage while preparing to open his new place in AZ.
As for finding the place any cabbie will know Celler Can Roca as it is the best known restaurant in town and Girona is not a huge city. You can always just write the name and address on a piece of paper and hand it to the cabbie.
BTW they spoke decent Englist at Celler Can Roca. They worked hard to explain each dish thoroughly. There were several English-speaking parties the night we were there and at the end of the meal they gave us a commemorative English menu. If you ask I think it is very likely that they will have the night's menus in English.
I second the idea of staying the night in Girona. It is well worth seeing. The medieval old city is incredible. We stayed at Hotel Historic practically in the shadow of the cathedral. What an amazing place to stay. There are not many hotels in the old part of the city but the other notable one, Pensione Bellmiral, is right across the street from Hotel Historic.