Trip Report Barcelona: Cal Pep, Tickets, Hisop, Gresca
Cal Pep: My first dinner of the night after landing in Barcelona was here. When I got into the restaurant, there was a line that snaked out the door on a cold Tuesday evening. Luckily, I was able to get a seat by the counter after 5 minutes. It helps to be a solo diner sometimes. I ordered a clam dish and had them surprise me with the rest. The seafood dishes I had were great. The potato and vegetable dishes I had were forgettable. The next time I go there, I'll have to remember to order the dishes myself and not let the restaurant recommend the dishes for me.
Tickets: There have been a lot of discussion on this in this board so I'll make it brief. I was fortunate enough to sit in front of Chef Albert Adria. Interestingly enough, his brother, Albert Adria was also in the restaurant. Anywho, since I was in front of the chef, I was able to choose whatever dish he was inspecting that looked good for me and had the restaurant bring me the other dishes. Standout dishes were the famous Olives, Foie Escabeche, Volcanic Rocks which was a dessert made of white chocolate, Mini Airbags of Cheese, and a pie with a mango custard inside. This was definitely one of the funnest places I dined in while in Spain. The atmosphere itself was bright and cheery. I've posted some pictures from Tickets below. From left to right: Razor Clam with Lime Air, Marinated Olive and Volcanic Rock.
Hisop: Dishes here are Modern Catalan. They have an ala carte menu and a tasting menu of about 9 dishes. Standout dishes here were the 1. Mackerel soup This was briny but not fishy. The mackerels themselves were tender and had a sort of transluscent color. Even with the warm soup, the flesh didn't turn white at all. Overall, still a delectable dish 2. Suckling pig: I think this was cooked sous vide then torched or roasted on top. The meat was definitely tender and juicy with a hint of crunch from the skin 3. Monkfish: First time I have had this and it won't be the last. It had a succulent texture and a slightly sweet flavor 4. Orange with licorice: This looked like a cross between a fruit salad and a pudding. It had a citrus tang to it and was not too sweet. Just the way I like it. Interestingly enough, most of the guests the night I was there were Scandinavian. The ones who sat next to me actually make it a point to go there whenever they're in Barcelona. And I could see why. This was the best value of all the tasting menus I had. It also helps that the food they served was delicious.
Gresca: I came here on my last night in Barcelona. It wasn't bad but I wouldn't have considered it memorable. The best dish I had here was the egg souffle. In fact, of all the egg dishes I had in Spain, this was the best. The souffle was shaped just like an orange. The yolk is revealed inside once you peel the souffle.