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Jean Blanchard

After El Bulli?

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I have been fortunate enough to receive an invitation to join friends for dinner at El Bulli in September. I will be traveling in the Costa Brava area for about 3 days. I have never been to Spain and at this point, have no idea what places I need to see or where to eat. I also will have 3 nights in Barcelona but I'm more interested in thoughts on Costa Brava at this point. Help!

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Hi Jean. Many of us will envy you the sort of friends you have ...

If you haven't already made arrangements, I would thoroughly recommend staying in Cadaqués rather than Roses. Cadaqués for us last year was a delightful small town, full of character, while Roses looked like the worst of the Costa Brava as seen on various TV programmes. The Hotel Playa Sol, while basic, was very comfortable and has a lovely pool area - make sure you ask for a room with balcony on the beach side. The local taxi knows how to find El Bulli and will be waiting for you at the end of your meal if required. You could drive yourself, but the road is ... interesting. Cadaqués is only 5km or so from where Salvador Dali used to live, and there are a number of other Dali sites to visit around the area if you're so inclined.

I don't have personal experience, but I'm sure a number of eGulletters will recommend a meal at El Celler de Can Roca(in Girona, not too far away) as another fabulous dining experience while you're in the area.

Have a great trip.


Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

eGullet Ethics Code signatory

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Well, I didn't get hardly any responses for restaurants in the Costa Brava area and I'm not getting very far with my own search. Starting to make me wonder if I should spend as much time there as I planned. Of course, the natural beauty of the area is certainly undeniable.

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Can Roca is a must. In many ways as rewarding as going to El Bulli. Can Fabes is also very good, but I found Can Roca more exciting.


Edited by mbernstein (log)

Just trying to eat some good food and learn in the process with all the well versed foodies here. Please don't hold me too accountable for my so personal opinions! :)

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Can Roca looks wonderful. I just put it on the list. I'm pretty sure this will be my only trip to this part of the world so I may as well take the opportunity to eat at the best places! Thanks the rec.

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We stayed in Roses as we were on a tight budget and skewed our spending towards food not beds. Lesliec's description of the town is close although it is a resort for Spanish tourists rather than lots of Northern Europeans so no hordes of drunks so not as bad as some of the Costa towns.

The night before El Bulli we ate at "Rafa" in Roses which was very good and a complete contrast. Simple grilled seafood, there isn't a menu you simply go to the kitchen area and choose what you want, and that is what you get, no vegtables or fancy addition. You just a get plates of amazingly fresh, fantastically cooked seafood.

The next day at El Bulli we had a dish with the same baby squid that we enjoyed at Rafa. Interestingly we felt the Rafa ones were better cooked and tasted a little better. I wouldn't make a special trip there, but if in the vicinity it is a must do, we had a very enjoyabe and memorable meal there.

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Thanks. Well, that's the second time I've heard about Rafa so I may have to visit. I'm staying in Cadaques. How far is Roses from Cadaque?

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Hi Jean. Good choice on Cadaqués!

Roses is maybe 20km over the hill, and you'll have to go through it to get to El Bulli anyway. I found the road seemed to get wider each time I drove it! The surface is great, much better than we'd expect on a similar road in New Zealand, but it's very tight and winding.


Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

eGullet Ethics Code signatory

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I am definitely going to hire a cab to take us to and from our hotel to El Bulli. I don't want to worry about the drive home. Thanks again.

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We have had two good meal at Ampurdan(or Emporada), a catalonian style restaurant not too far from the Dali Museum in Figueres. There are also some great beach towns in that area for seafood, although I dont know what is open in September.

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The best meal from a taste perspective from our El Bulli trip was a dinner we had three nights before at Can Fabes.


Edited by rmillman (log)

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Rafas was fabulous. We dined there the day after our Elbulli meal. Make a reservation - he will turn away patrons even if the restaurant is half-empty.

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Hi, We're off to Spain this year staying near Girona (now why did we do that? ;-)) and looking for some good places more at the 1 michelin star or bib gourmand level. I have checked viamichelin and there are a few around but no ideas how good they are. Some recommendations around Figueres would be good too as we will certainly be going to the Dali museum and also Cadaques.

And yes, of course we have our reservation at Celler de Can Roca!

cheers, Gav


Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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I have heard excellent things about Carme Ruscalleda's Sant Pau in San Pol de Mar. I just moved to Barcelona a few months ago and haven't been there yet but am planning to go for my birthday next month!

Have fun!

J

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Hi Gav.

I don't think you'll find many Michelin stars in Cadaqués, but it's still a lovely place. We visited Es Raco and were very happy with it. Not fancy; just good, with a smallish dining room and tiny balcony (with two tables, if I recall) looking out over a square with many goings-on to entertain you while eating. Get to it round the uphill (not sea) side.

But my best meal in Cadaqués was still the bread, tomatoes and anchovies by the pool at Hotel Playa Sol. Sigh ...


Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

eGullet Ethics Code signatory

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After some research on Via Michelin I have booked Ca L'Arpa in Banyoles which is just up the road from Girona. Anyone been?

http://www.calarpa.com

Les Cols also looks very interesting - I think it just got its second star....very much in the Can Roca mould.

http://www.lescols.com

Seems like you are spoilt for choice in this area for good restaurants, certainly better than in the Languedoc where we are going for our second week.


Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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