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Posts Tagged ‘Barcelona’

Your Perfect weekend in Barcelona

April 10th, 2008

Our Hotel The Claris Paseo de Gracia was really the reference for luxury hotels in the center of Barcelona. The Claris provides a splendid location with a short walking distance to Paseo de Gracia, to Plaza Catalunya or to Avenida Diagonal

We had a great Gourmet dinner in “Palau de la Musica Catalana” unique in Barcelona not only for its extraordinary and exquisite gastronomical options, but also for its excellent location, considered to be one of modernism’s main exponents. Its new creative cuisine, based on Catalan-French products is combined with present gastronomical tendencies and distinctive product elaboration. It offers delicious culinary creations within a magnificent atmosphere.

What’s about a gastronomy walking tour in Barcelona – the individual way to discover the city?
Our tour started at La Boqueria, in the heart of La Rambla, one of Barcelona’s most interesting spot and the most visited market in Europe. It is a place where you can enjoy a lively, vibrant atmosphere in surroundings where the cries of the stallholders and the daily bustle intermingle. It is arguably one of the best places to get to know the character of the people of Barcelona, where making a purchase is not just a mere financial transaction but goes much further into the sphere of human relations.

Ever experienced the Modernist Sweet Barcelona?
La Pedrera our first stop today - It is one of the main Gaudi residential buildings and one of the most imaginative houses in architecture history. La Pedrea is more a sculpture than a building.

For a sweet stop-over we have chosen Casa Amatller - the perfect starting point for chocolate lovers to explore the city. This building with its stepped gable (more reminiscent of northern Europe than Spain) is Puig i Cadafalch’s most elaborate creation. The facade is largely influenced by religious Catalan Gothic (especially the window surrounds on the lower floors) but the architect has added some playful touches. The facade is covered in ceramic tiles with a slight metallic sheen.

The absolute Highlight on our short break was the dinner at Espai Sucre, where everything, including the concept, is unique.
Espai Sucre means “sugar space,” and the house logo is an ant. It’s a dessert restaurant and the assemblage of some of their more baroque desserts could, translated into stone and tile, be Modernisme masterpieces.
Cold tea soup with spiced-tea ice cream and surrounded by puréed and minced tropical fruits and fine-chopped macadamia nuts is the relatively simple opener.
By the third dessert, you are up to peppered milk with a yellow citrus cream, slivered Granny Smith apples, toffee, and a few spicy arugula leaves. The fifth and most high-flown construction is a tea cream (flavored with smoky lapsang souchong), a black sesame wafer, a pool of unsweetened yogurt, a coffee-and-chocolate cake, sweet grapes, and a scoop of chocolate ice cream. Espai Sucre was opened in 2001 by Jordi Butron and during the day the restaurant operates as a cooking school, devoted to the perfection of the dessert chef’s art.

Barcelona – definitely a must for all of you!!!!

beatrixs Travel

Eating your way around the world

March 10th, 2008

Food is my #1 passion in life and travel #2. However, sometimes I think the only reason I like to travel is to find different foods to fuel Passion #1 - I even keep a restaurant journal. When I travel, I research the restaurants and make someone else research everything else. I then record the details of the foodie-adventures in my journal.

Some lessons I have learned along the way:

  1. Ask locals for recommendations – obvious, but there are a few caveats.
    1. Your hotel front desk is usually the first place to start, but beware. If they recommend a restaurant with a business card and instructions to give it to the restaurant and “tell them we sent you,” DON’T GO. This happened to me in Barcelona, and we were so upsold at dinner it was the most unrelaxing part of the trip.
    2. Ask the right question. Don’t ask, “What restaurants do you recommend.” Ask, “Where do you eat with your friends/family?” and follow that one up with “What kind of food do you like” to ensure their tastes aren’t completely off from yours.
    3. My favorite people to ask are taxi drivers and locals working at bars or restaurants where you have had a good experience.
  2. If you are traveling within the US, the internet will be your best friend in pre-planning, but web sites aren’t as common among international restaurants. I like www.chowhound.com for national and international.
    1. One thing you can research online before is what is considered local cuisine and drinks. Research tipping practices while you are at it.
    2. If you go to a restaurant that you like, and there are a lot of other restaurants in that same area, grab a business card – that way, you can hand the taxi driver the card the next night instead of trying to explain.
    3. Look for restaurants that are already busy – it will be worth the short wait.
    4. Ask for an English menu, you would be surprised how many places have them – and they usually give you a good laugh with the spelling and translations.
  3. I shouldn’t have to tell anyone this – but try to avoid chains. However, some local chains, are usually pretty good.

So actual recommendations in random locations?

Tokyo: Garlic House – order the garlic French bread for the appetizer, amazing!

Madrid: La Finca de Susana (chefs in training, so great, inexpensive food), and ENE (funky posh, a little pricy)

Dublin: For me, the food in Irelandtastes as dull as the weather, but I managed to find one good place: Chatham Brasserie (Chatham street Dublin– try the burger and chorizo brushetta). Diep Noodle Bar (Ranelagh Dublin 6) is also good.

Madison, WI:I know, not very ‘jetsetter’ of me, but this is an all time favorite and easy to miss and there is only a small black sign hanging on a grey door: Muramoto (106 King Street; Asian fusion)

Barcelona:Barceloneta (L’Escar, 22 moll Dels Pescadors) – pricey, but the view is to die for! Try the cod Carpaccio and don’t skip dessert.

London: Too many great restaurants to count, but Ping Pong is great. All Dim Sum! Order Jasmine tea for a nice surprise too!

Berlin: KaDeWe is a department store in Berlin – like Harrods in London, at least when it comes to the food. Take a few hours to wonder around the upstairs section and sample oysters and champagne!

Santiago: Nau Kana - unbelievable Asian, Middle East fusion! Try their version of the Mojito - vodka & basil.

lvolcheff Dining Reviews, Travel , , , , , , ,