Here’s a question: when you have a euphoric travel experience and dream about it for many years, then return to experience it again, does it ever exceed your expectations? I had only been to Barcelona once and ever since I’d been dreaming about going back to this dynamic city by the sea. It’s been nine years and the Spanish food culture has gone through a revolution. It is the go-to place for every Chef and foodie looking for new adventures. My good friend, Gerry Dawes, is an expert on Spanish food, wine, and culture, and he helped me design my trip. I had so many new places to check out, and some of the old favorites to visit again.
My partner Michael drove like a crazy-mad-hungry-foodie from Provence to Barcelona to make our 3 o’clock lunch reservation at Can Majo. Our mouths were watering for paella during the whole drive. It was exactly as we remembered. The food is simple but the fresh ingredients turn it into magic, and certainly the atmosphere helps, sitting right on Barcelona’s busiest beach watching the bathing suits go by.
We had grilled langoustines and fried calamari and a very chilled bottle of Spanish white. Happiness. Then came the divine seafood paella! It was all we wanted and more.
We were so full that we couldn’t even eat dinner that night! We went to see a movie instead, and then stopped by the Hotel Arts for a drink and a stroll around the Casino.
The next day we hit the streets and stopped by the Boqueria market.
Turned out Monday was not the best day to be at the Boqueria because about half of it was closed. So, we looked around a bit and returned the next day when everything was in full swing. Just take a look at these photos and you can see why I felt like a kid in a candy store!
The first course was Chef Llufriu’s signature dish, which he learned directly from Spanish Chef extraordinaire, Ferran Adria. It’s called The Golden Egg. A buttery soft egg yolk encased by a crackling sweet lacquered shell, which is really caramel, dusted in gold leaf and surrounded by crisp salty corn. The mouth-feel was astonishing.
Chef Llufriu really is a genius. The way he mixes the different flavors and textures–the salty, crunchy, sweet, and smooth–all in one bite. He truly utilizes the best indigenous ingredients of his country with such an innovative hand, like the Spider Crab Ravioli with Peas and Orange.
This was Michelin star dining, you don’t see a candied apple like this at your state fair! It was expensive, but worth every penny. The atmosphere was chic and the service was impeccable.
The proprietor of Can Majo recommended that we try Bar Mut the following night, a bustling tapas bar with an impressive wine list, and then head to Mutis (now closed), the exclusive private club upstairs. We were not disappointed! In my limited tapas bar experience this was truly the highlight. I could eat like this every day! The pictures say it all:
Adios Barcelona, and on to Capri! I hope you all join me on the final leg of my journey. Don’t forget, for help planning your Spanish vacation, please visit contact my friend, Gerry Dawes!
*The original blog was called Flavors in Love. All material has been transferred and some has been edited for easier reading, and archiving.