- a macaroni dish as one of the courses has changed my view on pasta.
I like this restaurant.
Was this the same macaroni dish that I posted a photo of upthread? Given the time between now and then, I doubt it, but that was a phenomenal dish.
We too were here recently, so presume we had the same macaroni dish as SamanthaF. It wasn't the same as yours Doc, it was called 'macarrones salteados con jugo de trufas', which was baby octapus with large macaroni in a coral coloured, buttery sauce with parsley, served in the pan. I don't remember the macaroni being crispy in the way you described. But it was sublime.
We had the Primavera Menu for 125 euro, and as there are no posts on it, I'll give a run through with a bit of detail.
Amuse gueles were very good, my favourite being the take on 'meille feuille' which I see in your shots. There was also a skewer of ham with melon, a cylinder of black and white pudding, foie on artichoke and quails eggs (I know, I don't know how they made the cut, and they were a bit cold too).
Next was 'huevos aromatizados', (aromatic eggs) which were a real headline grabber. We were presented with two eggs in stands, both with their tops neatly cut off. The quail's egg contained a ginger foam and the hen's egg had a ham and rosemary foam (great combination too). This was sensational and a really good palate teaser.
This was followed by the first of 5 fish courses:
1. 'Caballa en escabeche con foie, cebolla tierna y col' which was roasted red mullet (skin salted and crisped), wrapped in bacon on white asparagus and foie gras with balsamic reduction.
2. 'Merluza de costa con pie de ternera a la "Ravigota" "calcots" y aceite do romesco' was hake on roasted spring onions with concasse of vegetables in a veal jus (with vinegar).
3. 'Crustaceos servidos en una bullabesa con pan frito y azafran' which was crayfish on diced fried saffron potatoes in a wonderfully light bouillebaisse soup.
4. Then came the baby octapus with large macaroni dish which I discussed earlier.
5. The last fish dish was 'Pescado sequin el cesto del pescador de Blanes con una salsa do algas' which was 2 fish (dourade and an oily fish) with samphire, on a bed of beans with a foaming white sauce which had a delicate touch of curry. Whilst this was yet another perfect dish, it was an unbelievably generous serving, and was one fish dish too far for us. We were becoming overwhelmed...
.. And the mains were next which was a choice of 3 meat dishes:
1. 'Pichon con caracoles y tripa de bacalao' which was pigeon with snails, tripe and tiny onions in a sauce
2. 'Conejo con el lomo relleno', a rabbit, rolled and stuffed, served with potatoes and a mushroom sauce for a minimum of 2 people
3. 'Ris de veau lacado' which was sweetbreads with spring onions and baby onions in a reduction sauce.
We opted for the sweetbreads and the pigeon which was wonderfully succellent and gamey. We were 'hitting the wall' on this gastronomic marathon by this stage.
Next came the extensive cheeseboard and we soldiered on, sticking with the Spanish cheeses which were really good.
This was followed by a sorbet course (pear, mandarin and pineapple) before the 2 dessert courses:
1. 'Bavaroise de madronos con sopa de frutas exciticas' which was a peach and mango bavarois with exotic fruits (more small dice) which was fresh and tingly
2. 'Tartaleta de caramelo, con habas de cacao y helado de cacahuete' was a creamy caramel and praline flavoured (?) tart with wonderful chocolate.
And the last round was the incredibly delicious petits fours which we were incapable of finishing.
The food was truly wonderful, with some exceptional dishes. The sauces were sublime - as you would expect from a 3 star restaurant - and many of my plates went back to the kitchen with not a single trace of sauce (which apparently made chef extremely happy!). However, I think that the menu had too many fish dishes, and much and all as I hate to fault Santa Maria's generousity, I would really have to take issue with him over the sheer volume of food.
The service was excellent and as relaxed as is practicable within the 3 star framework, but personally I prefer to see less of the waiters and the Michellin 'must have' pretensions. What's more, this just didn't sit comfortably with these really nice, sincere people.
I would love to eat here again, but next time I would opt for Espai Coch, which I understand is the 40 euro menu near the kitchen. That would have to be a real bargain: those wonderful sauces, and not too much food.
I'm afraid that fcr a tasting menu (and for value), I agree with SamanthaF, and Can Roca wins hands down against Can Fabes.