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Jean-Luc Figueras


victornet
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You can travel the world over- you wont find a better place than Jean Luc Figueras.Do NOT miss it.

And while you're there, dont miss Can Gaig or Neichel, either. All three were superb a few weeks ago.

Cy, it seems you enjoyed Jean-Luc Figueras more than I did, which is not to say that I didn't appreciate or enjoy it, just that it was not that high on my pantheon. Nevertheless, we found it interesting and satisfying from start to finish and enough so to want to return. I hope you will serve us up a review to whet my appetite and lend me some additional insight into the food. I guess I'm saying we found a one star meal in one star restaurant in a city with good food, but if there's a three star meal to be had there, I want to find it next time. :biggrin:

Indeed, I think JLF to be considered as the best of the world perhaps too much. But still, I liked it very much last november. I will retry in a couple of weeks, as I will go to Neichel, Can Fabes, Gaig and Abac as well.

Is Can Fabes (which I don't know yet) really disappointing?

And strange enough, no one is mentioning Abac which is quite a new restaurant and that got its Michelin star right after opening.

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Paul, I'm looking forward to hearing about your next meals in Barcelona. It's been a while since we've been to Can Fabes, but it was certainly not disappointing at all. All the more surprising because it was touted so highly. I'm always afraid three star restaurants will fail me in some way if only because expectations are unreasonably high. Maybe I was easily pleased because we . Compared to El Bulli and perhaps a number of other contemporary restaurants in the area, I suppose it seems a bit traditional, but it's certainly first rate cooking and service and by no means was the food dated three years ago. I realize cooking is moving very fast in northern Spain. :biggrin:

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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Txs Robert! I was worrying a bit since there is one negetive comment here about it.

Of course, you should not compare everything with El Bulli - I am more worrying about the tendancy to copy Ferran Adrià everywhere... I hope to find something different, I mean: personal, at Can Fabes.

I will tell more about the restaurants when I have been there, although I know all of them, except Can Fabes. And Neichel was about 5 years ago; the rest I have visited last November.

Edited by paulbrussel (log)
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Paul,

I suspect it will be in the upcoming ny times article will mention it (since Lubow included it in his Departures article, which I found helpful before our recent trip) but I'd like to reassert, my lengthy notes on Commerc 24 notwithstanding, that Alkimia was my favorite meal in Barcelona, and gets my highest recommendation. This chef will be around for a long time, I believe.

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I'm leaving for Catalunya in two weeks and will be spending time in Andorra and Barcelona. Unfortunately foodwise, my time is not entirely my own. we will be meeting a Catalan family who has been hosting my son (we hosted their son last year). We will be dining out with them. I hope they are adventurous. If they are, we will probably have an even better experience than if we were by ourselves. I believe that we'll be going to Hispania, but from what I've read, Espai Sucre, Commerc 24 and Alkimia are at the top of my list. I just hope I can get to them. How difficult is it to get reservations at any of these places? Are they open in August?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Thank you everyone for your recommendations (Robert, Casa Calvet is one we're seriously considering). I'm actually beginning to share the same feelings as paulbrussel that 6 days in Barcelona may not be enough!

Also found some interesting recommendations on the food news and media thread on the Aug.10th NY Times Article (have not read the article yet).

As mentioned previously I will be there in September, upon my return I will try to post something on our dining experiences.

Irene

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Txs victor! Now I am getting afraid that 5 days BCN will be too short  :smile:  I was already convinced that everything culinary in Europe is happening in Catalunya, but there is even more to taste than I thought  :smile:

I can assure you that not even everything culinary in Spain is happening in Catalunya. For one thing Arzak who is generally credited with being the father of contemporary cooking in the Basque area is alive and well, although his daughter may be the major influence in the way his kitchen is going. And they're not alone in that area by a long shot. But if vsrna can be relied on, and I've done very well relying on his advice, things are happening all over Spain. We had a phenomenal meal southwest of Madrid in what we thought was the very underrated one star Las Rejas. We've also had terrific inventive food in Andalucia. Other travelers report excellent experiences in Rioja and around Madrid.

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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Indeed, Bux. That's one of the main points in my comments in the Media forum about this weekend's NYT magazine piece. No, obviously not - everything of culinary interest in Europe is not happening in Catalonia, even though, let's face it, with a half-dozen mind-boggling, state-of-the-art, world-class restaurants, Catalonia is probably leading the European culinary scene at present. But modern Spain not being by any stretch of the imagination a closed country, the movement has soon become generalized and reaches from Asturias to the Canary Islands, from Valencia to Extremadura. (For instance, Ca Sento in Valencia has become one of Europe's best restaurants with barely anyone outside Spain having found out about it yet.)

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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For Barcelona eating while Jean Luc Figueras is really great the place that I think is the most underrated right now is Abac. It is right around the corner more or less from Espai Sucre and the food is phenomenal. I highly recommend it and if you can take a drive I highly recommend El Cellar de Can Roca. Also another highly undervalued and underrated restaurant. The pastries there are sublime and the food is fantastic as well. They also happen to have one of the better sommeliers and wine lists in Spain. Also in BCN I would try Telaia del Mar. Of course Cal pep is good and you can even go before say a night at Espai Sucre as you can walk from one to the other and you won´t miss anything by not eating dessert at Cal Pep. If they have gambitas, the tiny shrimps with their heads still on definitely order them.

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If they have gambitas, the tiny shrimps with their heads still on definitely order them.

??? I've never seen any shrimp, big or small, in Spain with their heads off. We use fresh shellfish here... One of the reasons why the food's good. :wink:

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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Just a final check by all these highly involved people that have already given me very good advice.

Do I miss something very important in Barcelona when I make reservations for the following in September?

Day 1 dinner: Comerç 24

Day 2 dinner: Abac

Day 3 lunch: Can Fabes [already reserved]

'dinner': Espai Sucre

Day 4 lunch: Gaig [already reserved]

dinner: Alkimia [any one knows whether this is open on Sundays?]

Day 5 lunch: Hisop

dinner: Cata 81

By the way, El Bulli is too far away for me, as well as the **-restaurant in Girona, will be impossible to reserve, and I have been there already twice.

Txs in advance!

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Girona is a bit a trip for dinner, or even lunch, from Barcelona, but it's a city that easily deserves a day of it's own. We arrived in the evening and stayed two nights. We had dinner at El Celler de Can Roca on the second night and it was the fitting conclusion to a great day. I can't remember where or what we had for lunch, although I think it was outdoors with the setting being the appeal. We looked for tapas the night we arrived and either didn't look in the right direction, went out too late, or the pickings are as slim as we found them. Can Roca made the trip for us.

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 have to admit that at times, I'm a bit reluctant to allow myself to express my reactions to certain restaurants in Spain. I have not really found my footing Spain and am often far more surprised by what I find, that when I eat at French restaurant for the first time. Maybe that's part of the excitement of exploring and dining here, and the cause is partly due to less familarity with dining in Spain, but perhaps even more so to the rapid changes occurring in Spanish cuisine and restaurants. It's also a matter of reading too much about the starred restauranrts in France and searching out the Spanish restaurants on little more than a few brief mentions.

Nonetheless, I didn't expect Can Roca to be in a characterless building in a very-nondescript modern suburban neighborhood that appeared rather residential in character. All of that left me totally unprepared for the interior which was quite urbane (dress varied considerably from elegant tie and jacket to shirt sleeves however) and which would not have been out of place on the upper east side of Manhattan or in the heart of Paris, but even that did not prepare me for the most unprovincially professional service. This is like being in Buffalo and finding a restaurant better than all but a handful in Manhattan. Actually like being in a new suburb of Buffalo. (Caution, I found the wine lists, rather pretentious in format and presentation, but not the help in selecting wines, nor in their service, both of which were on par with top restaurants in France.) Let's face it, that image of a set for El Cid serving as the decor for Spanish restaurants has been a hard image to kill.

So this was a real sleeper for us and, in a way, I'm sorry if we build your expectations too early, though I doubt the food will disappoint you. On the whole, I think the Spanish Michelin Guide's standards are as high or higher than the French Guide

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 do agree with you on the ratings of Michelin for other countries compared with those in France. In fact, I always say that most of the *** in France are the ** elsewhere, or perhaps better: the other way around.

Anyway, for my trips to Paris for example, I always consult Michelin, GaultMillau and Champérard guides to make my choice. Now, I will definitely include eGullet as well :smile: .

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