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Sevilla - what to choose? La Alqueria or Abantal?

sasicka Oct 20, 2010 05:55 AM

Hi,

I know the difference between these two restaurants - molecular vs traditional, very expensive vs just expensive, out of town vs 200m from my hotel...

But if you had one to choose to go to, which one would it be? Which one has better food? Which one brings more joy?

Thanks very much for your answers, they would hopefully help me decide my dilemma :-) Thanks!

  1. sasicka Oct 24, 2010 11:58 AM

    Hi guys, thanks for all your input. I've been to La Alqueria yesterday and it was worth every penny for me. I was really thrilled and I think I will try to visit the real thing next year. Also I will try to visit Denmark to eat at Norma or what's their name so that I can compare. We got only one single dish in the entire tasting menu with which we were underwhelmed. It was a rabbit leg and while it was perfectly cooked, we didn't get the molecular part of it. Otherwise it was just amazing!

    1 Reply
    1. re: sasicka
      estufarian Oct 24, 2010 12:34 PM

      Probably should be a separate thread, but because you were so good and reported back, the trick at Noma is to visit their website on 1st of month at 10:00 Copenhagen time, and TURN ON any form-filling software you have. They take reservations for the whole (3-month future)month on this same day (on Nov 1 you can book for February - and so on). As everyone else is doing the same thing (!) it might take you a few attempts to get a reservation form (they'll ask for your date AND time) then you'll fill out the form if that time is still available. HOWEVER, there's a high probability that your date/time will be taken by then (if it takes a minute to fill out the form, others may get in while you're completing). So you'll repeat the process with another time/date - except this time your software will automatically complete the form and you'll be submitting almost immediately.
      I got my reservation on the 4th attempt - but the first attempt AFTER I used the form-filling software (which, in my case was in a different browser - I used two browsers to double my chances).
      I got an evening res - but the site implies that the lunch is identical to the evening meal.

      As for El Bulli itself - good luck!

    2. r
      rrems Oct 21, 2010 08:35 PM

      I can't comment specifically on Alqueria, but I did go to La Terraza del Casino in Madrid last week. This is another of Adria's restaurants, with 2 michelin stars. We had the tasting menu, and although we all thought it was interesting, we just were not excited by it. I have had molecular cooking at a number of places, with Akelare being the best, and this one just did not meet that standard. We had dinner at Abantal, and not only was the food excellent, it was excellent value for the price. It was among the best meals I have had in Spain and I would highly recommend it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rrems
        estufarian Oct 22, 2010 08:50 AM

        I haven't dined at Abantal, so also can't compare directly but, like rrems, my experience at Akelare was my favorite. However, for me, La Alqueria came just behind Akelare, whereas there was a leap (downwards) for La Terrazza (which I also visited this year).

        It probably comes down to what style of cuisine you prefer.
        If you don't think you'll ever get to El Bulli (OK that's just next year) then La Alqueria is the best alternative - and, IMO, more consistent as it features the 'Greatest Hits'.

        If (when?) I get back to Sevilla, I know I'll return to La Alqueria - and also (now) visit Abantal - which doesn't really help you (but it does move Sevilla up my personal list!).

      2. m
        mr_gimlet Oct 20, 2010 04:13 PM

        When are you planning to go to Sevilla?

        3 Replies
        1. re: mr_gimlet
          sasicka Oct 21, 2010 01:06 AM

          I'm coming this Friday. I do have reservations for Saturday for La Alqueria as I thought these would be more difficult to get. So I guess this is not a problem. But I'm only staying until Tuesday morning and therefore would have to dine at Abantal on Friday (after a day-long journey of switching planes and trains), which I don't want. So basically I only have the Saturday night and 2 amazing restaurants to choose from.

          1. re: sasicka
            m
            mr_gimlet Oct 21, 2010 04:07 AM

            If it were me, I would choose Alqueria; a foodie acquaintance went and loved it. Since they close for the winter in a week, it is not a dilemma I am faced with.

            1. re: sasicka
              monchique Oct 21, 2010 03:33 PM

              Go to La Alqueria, because a) it is a rare chance to try El Bulli food & b) it might not be there next year depending of Ferran's plans for the future...
              Been there for dinner, and stayed the night and it was a fascinating and unique experience. Not my sort of food, but at least I was able to decide it was not.
              The hazienda itself is beautiful, and I have been back several time for lunch by the pool (not really interesting for the food, and too expensive, but I like the ambiance...)

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