Barcelona. 2 days only. Alternative to Alkimia and suggestions
I am spending the first weekend in November in BCN.
Travelling with my Girlfriend, and we are both passionate about food. I have read through many of the posts here and found great information.
We only have four meals in BCN (2 x lunch (sat + sun) and 2x dinner (fri + sat)). So better make them count!
The trip down is mainly to eat, and eat well. :-)
Heres the issue, we both love modern cooking (incl. molecular) and love NOMA in Copenhagen where we live (been lucky enough to eat 2 times, and cant recommend it enough).
I was hoping for at least one meal where my senses would be provoked or challenged, rather than having the usual foie-gras etc. (as much as I love foie-gras).
My first option was ALKIMIA but they were closed or booked troughout our stay. What would be the best alternative (Creative, inventive)?
I have tried to write Cinc Senits for reservations, but no reply so far.
Any thougths about the Lunch menu in MOO?
There seems to be so many other nice places (Hisop, Coure, Sauc, Cresca, Embat etc.) But also read some nice things about Gelonch and maybe Bohemic.
As we have so few meals, any advice would be greatly appreaciated.
As for Tapas i will follow the advise from some of the recent postings.
probably too late, but I went to Comerc24 last week-end (saturday) and it was very good (also tried the restaurant section of the Euskal Etxea pinxo place on C/Montcada on sunday), we called on the same day and landed a place at the bar.
(fullish-report will be done when I come back)
We're arriving on Thursday and departing Friday on a cruise from BCN - we'll see if we can get away and try out one of the places listed.
Are there any good places close to the cruise docks for breakfast?
Are reservations necessary for Hisop / Neichel? We're arriving from Canada that same day and would like to try it for dinner.
Just returned from my short trip to BCN.
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. They really made the trip a good one!
A short report:
Late lunch at Cerveceria Catalana: Tapas of ok quality, nothing special. Service indifferent.
It was close to the hotel, I had already had lunch at a conference but my GF were desperate to get some food!
Dinner at Hisop: Great experience. Had the tasting menu. Very good and the right balance between experimental and focus on great produce. Very earthy flavours with a lot of Umami! Some of the dishes were a litte heavy on the salt.
Winepairings and sommelier where very very good. A bargain! Will definitely return.
Lunch: El Quim at La Boqueria. Excellent food! I could eat there everyday! had Schrimps a la plancha, Mushrooms, asparragus, Jamon Iberico, and more....
Also bought cheese and Jamon Iberico to take home at La Boqueria.
Dinner: Cinc Sentits. Good experience. Had the long tasting menu with wine pairings. Excellent and well executed food. Some of the wines were not that exciting. However very good experience overall. Double the price of Hisop.
Lunch: Paco Meralgo
Packed with locals going out for sunday lunch. Tapas of high quality. Try the zucchini flowers with Mozzarella! If you are a non smoker, remember to book in the non-smoking section. I didnt!
@Taiphun. I would definitely reserve for Hisop. Just reserve through their website.
I would just pick among Sauc, Cinc Sentits, Coure, Hisop. Comerc24, Gresca or Moo. Embat is good but simpler and not as polished. Never been to Gelonch or Bohemic. My two dinners at Martin Berasategui in the Basque have not been great but I have friends who really like Lasarte, his Barcelona outpost. Don't expect any of these to be on the same level or as unique as NOMA. Most are more modest establishments and cost considerably less; well maybe not MOO or Lasarte. There is always a little luck involve in getting a terrific meal. I would book soon as these restaurants are small and Fri/Sat nights are when everybody eats out. Although emails are gaining popularity and more reliable, on short notice, I would use the phone.
Thanks very much for the advice.
So far i got a reservation for Saturday dinner at Cinc Sentits.
Will try either Gresca, Sauc, Hisop or Coure for friday evening. Have considered Lasarte, but its gonna be to taxing on my wallet I think.
Any good places to have lunch Sunday (flying back at 7pm). I think Paco Meralgo is open Sunday,right?. Any other suggestions?
PacoMeralgo is also open for lunch on Sundays. For tapas, it is probably the best choice if one wants to have the comfort of a leisurely sitdown lunch. Sundays can be quiet in much of Barcelona. There will be visitors in the Gotic but the two mostly lively area are: El Born/Ribera where many standup tapas/pintxos places will be open middays: Bar del Pla, Euskal Etxea, Little Bestiari, Sagardi are just a few. And if it is not raining, Barcelonetta/Harbor is packed with families out for Sunday lunch. Seafood and rice are specialities. For good rice dishes, Can Ros and Kaiku.
If you are going to Cinc Sentits, Hisop might be a nice counterpoint for dinner the next night. Where Cinc Sentis is rather on the conservative (but still modern) side of the good tasting menu restaurants in BCN, Hisop is all about minimalist, cutting edge "look at what they did with that". Their cheese cart blew me out of the water - and I have a pretty strong palatte - my wife couldn't finish hers - in a good way! We've been back a few times (we live in BCN) and, for feeling that this is a special meal with some creative thought behind it, Hisop wins - for us.
If you want the polar opposite after Cinc Sentits - our absolute, hands-down favorite restaurant in Barcelona is Neichel. We've been 7 or 8 times now - the chef even made my wife a special birthday dinner off the menu. Superb, modern cooking by the guy who earned El Bulli it's first Michelin Star back in the day (and has gotten a couple more since) - he has definitely kept up with the times. This ain't cutting edge micro-gastronomy - just artistry in the kitchen - kinda like Arzak. Neichel does 3 levels of tasting menus plus an extensive ala cart selection; superb service and a great wine list. In the Pedralbes part of town - high end residencial mostly. Taxi will be about 10-12 euro from Barri Gotic/Born.
I'm just back from 9 days in BCN (trip report forthcoming when I have more time) -- I can't recommend Hisop strongly enough, we absolutely loved everything about it. Actually, much preferred it to Cinc Sentits (although that was also good).
Bar de Pla is a great Sunday option, not fancy at all but good and a fun place.
Thanks very much everyone for the advice.
The itinerary now looks like this:
Friday Dinner: Hisop
Saturday Lunch: Probably tapas (maybe Quimet i Quemet or one of the markets)
Saturday Dinner: Cinc Sentits
Niechel looks very promising, but i will have to include that on my next trip!
Will try to fit in some wine at La Vinya del Señor. Anything else i forgot?
Where to go for Jamon Iberico and cheeses to bring back home?
Again thanks for all your help!