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Estudi Xocolada by Oriol Balaguer


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Along with your ice cream. It's been a while since I've been in Barcelona in the middle of summer. A visit in August was memorable for the number of bottles of cold water consumed and perspired back into the environment. As I recall, airconditioning is common enough indoors and, unless I'm mistaken, there's a breeze that comes off the sea in the evening that's welcome.

No doubt -- it is definitely hot and humid in August, and also at the end of July here in Barcelona. That said, this year has not been typical. In fact, we've had the hottest summer here in 50 years and it has been a scorcher. Count on spending 2:00-5:00 indoors in the comfort of air conditioning, or down at the beach cooling off. It does cool down a bit at night, but not tremendously.

The best times of year to visit in my mind are May-June and September-October. Particularly September-October because the worst of the tourist invasion has gone, the locals have returned from their vacations, all the shops and restaurants have opened, the fall produce is hitting the market and the weather is glorious.

Jordi.

http://www.foodlover.com

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Somewhere, maybe in this thread even, I've suggested that a fall visit is worth making just to see the vivid plummage of the game birds in La Boqeria market.

Only slightly off-topic, is the news we've had from friends in the Languedoc, just a few hours drive north of Barcelona, -- the summer has been hot and dry. A drought means that the grass isn't growing the cows have little to eat. There's a shortage of milk and there is likely to be a shortage of cheese made in many areas.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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  • 4 weeks later...
So, we only had one dinner and chose Alkimia.  It is definilely cutting edge and very exciting.  Chef Jordi Vila's cooking is inspired by Adria, but it is truly his own take.

I tried to book at Alkimia just now, but they told me that you had to book a table for 7 - 8 people - you can't dine there alone!? I was surprised... (They didn't speak English, so I spoke French.) Has anyone more information about this?

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Could it be that they just don't take reservations for parties of less than seven diners? For your sake, I'm trying put a better spin on this, but the next time I get to Barcelona, I know I will be trying to reserve for no more than four, and two is more likely, so keep us informed.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I tried to book at Alkimia just now, but they told me that you had to book a table for 7 - 8 people - you can't dine there alone!? I was surprised... (They didn't speak English, so I spoke French.) Has anyone more information about this?

Paul, I'm afraid there's been some misunderstanding with the restaurant. I've just phoned them, and they have told me that in fact they only have a table able to accommodate eight people. Single diners are welcome.

Just let me know if you think I can help you getting a reservation there.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Single diners are welcome.

Just let me know if you think I can help you getting a reservation there.

Txs! That is what I thought - I will call again tomorrow - if I don't manage, I would be very gratful to you to be able to come back to you! I will lett you know...

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