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Jun 15, 2007 04:57 PM

Can Fabes?

Is this worth it? Also, how easy is it to get to from Barcelona center? I'm a little daunted leaving the city as I don't speak Spanish. Also, how easy is it to get reservations?

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  1. We loved it, but it is a hassle to get to. Our doorman had to do some talking to get us a taxi driver to drive us there and for the return, we had to wait a very long time for them to come up with someone to drive us back. I don't think lack of Spanish would be a problem, though. There are 2 rooms - one rather modern & one very traditional, so you might request which you'd like. I thought the food fabulous - and we were definitely much fuller than when we left El Bulli!

    1. I posted on your other thread regarding to Alkamia, Moo, etc. It is very easy to take a train (30 minute ride) from Barcelona to the town of Sant Celoni where it is an easy 10 minute walk to Can Fabes. The easiest is to catch the train at either Estacio Sants or at the Passeig Gracia metro station, one block from the Placa Catalunya. The train runs about hourly and one can pick up a schedule that shows the times and the stops. Since the towns are clearly marked with signs, it is difficult to get off in the wrong town.
      In term of cooking, Can Fabes is somewhat the opposite of El Bulli. Some find it rather conservative and formal. I've eaten there three times and have never had a course that is less than a stellar. The cooking is always true to the mark and the ingredients are always top notch. But if you are looking for experimental and molecular cooking, Can Fabes is not the choice.

      10 Replies
      1. re: PBSF

        Interesting replies from everyone! I guess let me rephrase my question then.... if i had the chance to try only one of the resturants mentioned, regardless of whether it's experimental or not, which should i choose? i guess i was a bit fixated on experimental stuff as i was really looking forward to el bulli, and i wanted to try something that best represented catalan cuisine...

        1. re: adelly

          We found Can Fabes the most "french" of the places north of Barcelona. Everything very 'correct' but somehow lacking the excitement of the more avant-garde places. But the food is fresh and expertly prepared.
          Can Roca (for example) was much more challenging. As an example their 'riesling' dish was served with 5 different flavours/sauces - each one 'chosen' to exemplify an aspect (aroma/flavour) of Riesling. It was a fascinating experience - except I strongly disagreed with some of the flavours served (e.g. earl grey). However I'm still talking about the dish - it had a great concept, whether or not the realization was flawed.
          And if you've already paid for a hotel in Barcelona, then both are realistic only for lunch in order to get the train back. However, the lunch is comparable to the dinner ( in cost, quantity and quality).
          I would choose the 'experimental' for the experience. It's almost not available anywhere else in the world, but there are several alternatives to Can Fabes in the south of france (and I'm not going to argue whether they are better or worse - just that the style is more similar).

          1. re: estufarian

            thanks for the input... i guess i will stay inside barcelona then, and look for a good experimental-type resto.... that narrows it down a lot!

        2. re: PBSF

          Does the train run back to Barcelona late at night? I think that was the problem for us - it's been a couple of years, though.

          1. re: torta basilica

            I think the last train leaves from Sant Celoni for Barcelona around 10:30pm. Since no one dine before 9pm, it is impossible to make the last train.

            1. re: PBSF

              that seems to be what people are saying.... lunch doesn't appeal to me too much if it costs the same.... guess i'll have to contend with moo or cinq...

              1. re: adelly

                But to clarify - the menu is the same at lunch. And my lunch reservation (at Can Roca) was at 2;30 (IIRC) and I didn't get out until after 6:00!

                1. re: estufarian

                  I second that - the main meal in Southern Europe is lunch, and Spanish people eat really late, so it would still be an occasion. I went to Can Fabes for a late luch a couple of years ago and loved it - faultless food, which, whilst not as funky as molecular gastronomy, was interesting and had some unusual dishes. We only had their house wine which was 20 euros per person to accompany the set menu in the part of the restaurant next to the kitchen. We must have had the equivalent of a whole bottle each during the course of the meal (a couple of glasses each of cava, red and white), so it was very good value ad excellent wine - especially the red. It comes from his own vineyard. Interestingly, when we asked how much a case would cost to take with us, it was really expensive - something like 56 euros a bottle - I couldn't understand that, as we'd figured it would be much cheaper than what they'd charge in the restaurant.

                  1. re: Theresa

                    A few years ago, when Can Fabes added a few hotel rooms, they also opened a second restaurant Espai Coch. This small space next to the kitchen serves breakfasts to it's overnight guests as well as offering a simpler menu, including a set menu for about 50E, for lunch and dinner. Reservations can be made only for the same week.

                    1. re: PBSF

                      Yes - that's the one we ate in. We turned up on spec on a Sunday, and managed to get the room to ourselves. I don't think they normally open it on a Sunday lunchtime (they didn't then anyway), but they were really accommodating, despite the fact we were dressed very casually (I mean jeans) when everyone else was very smartly turned out.