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Bux virtually every restaurant in Spain now has foie gras on the menu, far more so than in France, and the starred restaurant in Roses - La Llar - is excellent with truly Spanish cuisine at a very high level. The only French touch is a great cheese platter. Their torta del Casar is to die for. I would recommend it to Tony .

I'm glad to hear La Llar is excellent. I usually put a fair amount of faith in Michelin. While it's not infallible, it's what I resort to using when I don't have a personal recommendation and generally it's been fairly reliable. To a great extent my comment about foie gras is prompted by Roses' location by the sea where I'd be looking for places that featured sea food, although not necessarily exclusively. More personal reasons probably play a bigger part in my not wanting to look for foie gras in Spain. We had it twice in a row on our last trip. The first time my wife ordered it because a shopkeeper in town raved about a local restaurant's foie gras when recommending the restaurant and the second time it was part of a tasting menu. The first restaurant was a rather simple place where we ordered too much food and the foie gras was the dish we didn't finish in spite of being twice as expensive as any other dish we ordered. It wasn't that the dish wasn't good, it was that the other dishes, even the ones that we weren't sure we liked, were so much more interesting to us. It may sound offensively elitist or snobbish, but I'm afraid we've been over "foie gras-ed" in NY and France. I believe foie gras has more interest right now for Spanish chefs and diners. This is the odd situation where I'm less interested in eating what the locals eat, I suppose. In the second restaurant, a one star where we had the tasting menu, the foie gras was again one of the least interesting dishes although it did bear a granish that was distinctively Spanish to our taste and thus lent a sense of terroir. However here, every dish was interesting and loudly proclaimed "auteur" or España." This was at Las Rejas and although I waddled out of the restaurant in a stupor, I would have eaten a second portion of any, and maybe every, dish had it been offered.

On the other hand, the French custom of a cheese course before dessert, is one I don't mind having in Spain. On the whole I'm seeing this in the more avant garde places serving haute cuisine and it seems more of an international custom. In NY, I'm quite content to have imported cheese, but in Spain, I like to have Spanish cheese. For the most part, Spanish cheeses may lend themselves to tapas better than the cheese tray. Torta del Casar is a prominent exception, but this may be changing in the same way that Spain's wine is changing. Spain is changing and while I worry its food will lose its sense of terroir, I am aware that these changes are what's bringing Spanish restaurants to the fore.

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 not eaten at La Llar, but I have heard negative reports. The Gourmetour which is the leading Spanish restaurant guide, and a guide with which I have had very good experience, which rates on a scale of 10 gives this restaurant a 7. This is an extraordinarily low score for a Michelin one star restaurant and lower than many many no star ones. By way of comparison, Mas Pau in Figueras which is a reasonably strong one star get 8.5. With regard to Foie Gras, neither El Bulli or Can Fabes offered it on my recent visits. I actually considered this a plus as in my view it has become a cliche and something that I avoid unless at certain specialist restaurants in the southwest of France or some in Alsace.

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I had hot foie gras in Can Fabes some years back. It was exceptional.

I'm hesitant to mention the Guía Campsa as I really don't have enough experience with it to know how reliable it is. Nevertheless, it lists four restaurants in Roses. El Bulli gets three "sols," their equivalent of stars. La Llar gets an "R" for recommended, a grade below a single sol. The Almadraba Park restaurant at Tony's hotel, gets a mention as does Flor de Lis where Chef Nikolaus Von Obstfelder offers "una cocina international" including "gambas en salsa pizzaiola."

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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