April 13, 2007

aceitunas verdes sféricas

Next course was an appetizer of green olives. These olives are as much a "signature" appetizer as the French Laundry salmon and crème fraîche cornets. They are essence of green olive encased in a thin gelatine shell. They're finished in olive oil and herbs and served in a single spoon on a stainless steel tray that is itself a work of art.

El Bulli - Arrival and Cocktails

Debbie and I were part of a party of eight people, our half arriving a little late. One of our party missed a wake up call - what would it feel like to sleep through your El Bulli reservation? When we arrived I quick took some exterior shots then hurried in to the restaurant. We were ushered into a quick viewing of the kitchen, which felt like a cross between a large restaurant kitchen, a laboratory, and an esbat. Presiding over at all at the end of a long table was the chef, head scientist, and officiant - Ferran Adrià.

We were then lead through one larger dining room into our smaller room. It felt cozy and homey, even though we were at a large dining table. Once seated we were served apéritifs, either sherry or a cava, and cocktails. With the cocktails, the show began. Most of the table got a "gin fizz" which consisted of a martini glass half full of yellow liquid, topped with a white foam. When you drank it you realized the yellow liquid was frozen lemon, while the white foam was hot! It was such a shocking contrast it made me laugh. It would not be the last time...


April 12, 2007

El Bulli - Cala Montjoi

Cala Montjoi PanoramaWe flew from Bangalore to Paris, Paris to Barcelona, then drove from Barcelona to Roses and from Roses to Cala Montjoi. With each leg we went from larger to smaller - from 6 million to 2 million to 1.5 million to 15 thousand to well, basically none. Cala Montjoi (Montjoi Cove) is a small seasonal resort about 15 minutes outside of Roses, with a campground and one of the most famous restaurants in the world - El Bulli.

After arriving in Roses, we decided to scout out the road and see if we couldn't get a peek at the restaurant. It's a relatively short drive, only 9km, through scenic hilly spanish countryside and down to a pretty little cove. Since it was still winter, the beach was deserted and a cold wind made you want to keep moving. We explored a little, walking up the trail from Cala Montjoi back towards Roses. The trail skirts the back of El Bulli, with a picturesque stone stair leading up from the beach.

We drove slowly back, stopping to take a few touristy snapshots outside the gate, and went back to Roses to get ready for dinner.