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Louisa Chu

El Bulli 2005 Reservations

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i would like to thank luisa for her original post...each year the date changes a bit, and i would have been unaware...

just received a gracious conformation for our requested dates, and i should add that every conversation i have had with luis garcia has been gracious and sincere.

(unlike the average maitre d'hotel i deal with in france...)

perhaps it is like bux suggested; that everyone who seriously tries, eventually has luck.

i also think flexibility and persistance really help.

quite a few times this season i called after 3pm, to check for last minute cancellations, and they do come through...of course this only helps if you live nearby.

[and to blakej: i seriously doubt writing in english is a problem, although if you call, i think spanish would be necessary]

again, thank you luisa...

t.

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Yes, many thanks Louisa! It was your reminder that lit a fire under me. Otherwise, I surely would have forgotten until it was too late.

Thank you again for looking out for your fellow egulleteers.

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Well, this is my third year attempting for a reservation (which I mentioned in my request, in what I hoped was a respectful and gracious manner), and on the 19th, I received an offer from Luis to dine on July 24th. Like you Butterfly, I also jumped for joy, and am truly looking forward to planning a trip to Spain for the occasion. We haven't been in Barcelona in 20 years, and never in other parts of Catalunya. I'm considering a week in Barcelona, and another week or possibly a bit more heading north and into the Pyrenees.


Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

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In the meantime, while the 2005 season is still in the not so distant future, you may want to read http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=55979, and have a better idea of how elBulli became what is it now and what happened during what we can say was their most defining decade (1990 - 2001).


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Sometimes I think the best introduction to Adrià's food is no introduction at all. The first time we ate at El Bulli, there was a large group of hikers and bikers on a first class trip. All were used to living and eating well, but none were foodies and the ones we talked with after lunch (those were the days and I sometimes wish they gave up dinner rather than lunch, but clearly two such meals a day was too much for any kitchen) had never heard of Adrià. Not having the preconceptions that some foodies have about how food should taste, they were all delighted with their experience.

On the other hand, if you read here, you're long past that age of innocence and at the point where a little knowledge may not be enough. At this point, I think the more you know and understand the history of the place, the more you may enjoy your meal. Ignorance is bliss, but a little knowledge about an interesting subject just breeds discontent and a desire for more knowledge. Fortunately, there's a hell of a lot that's been said about Adrià and El Bulli on eGullet and it's not all on the Spain and Portugal forum. I believe there are a number of posts in the Media forum that are interesting. We should also appreciate Pedro's ongoing effforts to see that Adrià is not stranger to you.

It is fascinating how many of us have been to El Bulli or are going next year. The heads up at the right time to apply and the immediacy of this medium in getting that news to members and in allowing members to e-mail their requests is remarkable and certainly gave members a serious advantage for next year. I assume there are other members who have gotten a positive response and have not posted because they are more private about their travel plans or just don't want to jinx an even that's still six months away, but I suspect we will be filling this forum with El Bulli 2005 reports over the next year.


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 got my long-awaited reply this morning. Not only was Luis as gracious as everyone has described, but I got one of the exact dates in May that I had asked for. :biggrin:

I'll certainly write up my experience once I get back - it's the least I can do for having gotten the tip on reservations. Thanks again!

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Perhaps requesting a specific date was a mistake. However I thought a Tuesday in late April would be a little easier to fill. Alas my trip will be sans El Bulli. We will try to contact them as we approach our departure date but are not holding out much hope. It will be our tenth wedding anniversary so a special meal will be had somewhere for sure. I also mentioned I was in the food biz in USA ,dont know if that helped or hurt or had no affect. Perhaps that Tuesday is booked by a couple of large parties. I will never know. To those of you lucky reservation holders, buon appetiitto.

David


David West

A.K.A. The Mushroom Man

Founder of http://finepalatefoods.com/

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Perhaps requesting a specific date was a mistake. However I thought a Tuesday in late April would be a little easier to fill.

In the past few years at least, they've been closed on Mondays and Tuesdays in April through June. See here.

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Perhaps requesting a specific date was a mistake.

You might e-mail him again if there's any flexibility in your plans and take some solace from the fact that there are other great restaurants in the region. From experience, I'd have to say Can Roca, Can Fabes and Sant Pol, but I think we've been over this already. It seems as if those who were most flexible did the best in getting a reservation. I'm not sure if a range of dates just increased the natural odds, or if it was seen as a sign of understanding his problem and thus brought greater attention.


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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Perhaps requesting a specific date was a mistake. However I thought a Tuesday in late April would be a little easier to fill. Alas my trip will be sans El Bulli. We will try to contact them as we approach our departure date but are not holding out much hope. It will be our tenth wedding anniversary so a special meal will be had somewhere for sure. I also mentioned I was in the food biz in USA ,dont know if that helped or hurt or had no affect. Perhaps that Tuesday is booked by a couple of large parties. I will never know. To those of you lucky reservation holders, buon appetiitto.

David

Dear dfunghi: I know, as one of the other eGullet members has indicated, that el Bulli is closed both Monday and Tuesday evenings. TRY another day of the week! If you aren't successful--and I hope you are--El Raco con Fabes (Con Fabes) chef Santamaria is a true mycologist and a superb cook. Santamaria is a three star chef with both traditional and inventive dishes that will wow you. He is not Ferran Adria. Ferran will offer you a mind-blowing new dining experience. Read Pedro's most recent post on Food Media and News: El Bulli, Soler & Adria in Context for understanding Adria's unique culinary contributions.

Santamaria offers the best combination of food and lovely accommodations in the Catalunya area. Joan Roca is another outstanding chef not far from Sant Celoni. But your evening meal there, will not allow you to go upstairs to a lovely room, as you could at Con Fabes.

If you do get a reservation at el Bulli book a room at the Roses hotel, Almadraba Park. It is drivable to and from el Bulli. It is also a wonderful Costa Brava destination. Hopefully it is not too expensive. Sant Pau is another great restaurant destination but it is not as accessible to lovely overnight accommodations, As I have no idea what your itinerary is for that time frame, my various ideas are probably less than helpful.

Your fungi monaker caught my eye. I am an amateur mycologist. A chef with serious interests in foraging mushrooms always gets my attention. Your date for enjoying the best of the mushroom season in Spain is not April, but I am sure you already know that. Try Con Fabes for your anniversary dinner and spend the night in their wonderful newly created tiny hotel. You have a unique Spanish experience with a three star chef and a beautiful hotel for the evening. One of the first experiences as such that Spain can offer. Hope this is helpful.

We have been researching the best of Spain's culinary elite for almost 10 years. We visited El Bulli early in 1997 and have since been yearly afficionados. Unfortunately El Bulli no longer has lunches which limits its availablity to the clamoring public. I understand why. Good luck and hope my post has been useful. J Gebhart

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I officially baptize this thread the Louisa and Luis Thread and exort all those blessed with a reservation to make a point of rooting for those fellow eGulleteers who were unlucky, mentioning dfunghi and others as the correligionists they are and how we're a team that shouldn't really be broken up. Together we can overcome! We have nothing to lose but our reservations!(*gulp*) :)

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... your evening meal there, will not allow you to go upstairs to a lovely room, as you could at Con Fabes.

I don't want to go off on a tangent thread, but you've focused on a great difference between gastrotouring in France and Spain. It's been a subject of other threads and it's one of the reasons we often have a great lunch in Spain rather than a great dinner. In Girona, where we had dinner at Can Roca, we asked the desk clerks at our hotel for driving instructions to the restaurant which is a bit out of town. Pooled heads could not quite come up with adequate instructions or a map and for once we decided it was just as well to leave the car parked and incur the added expense of a taxi. Actually taxis are inexpensive in Spain, but I allow myself those extra glasses of wine when I'm not drinking. :biggrin: Sant Pau, (in Sant Pol) by the way, appears to be an easy destination by the electric commuter rail from Barcelona, but we noted that the town seemed underdeveloped in terms of public accommodation. Plenty of private homes and not very dense condo development though. Lesser, but still very interesting restaurants in the area seemed reasonable only at lunch as well.


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 am happy to report that El Bulli was able to change my reservation and accomodate us. I am so psyched. I need to start planning now. Does anyone know Rafa's schedule and if they are 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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Disclaimer: I am not a rich businessman and do not have any connections what so ever.

I am in as well!!! I actually got the date I requested in May, our anniversary date, even though I made it clear that any day in May should be fine. The way this worked out was as follows. I had sent an e-mail in April of 2004 requesting some information about when the 2005 reservation season starts. I got a very polite response informing me that no more requests are being accepted anymore.

I saved the response and replied back to it on Oct 18 2004, with a reservation request for a specific date in late May or any day in May actually.

On Nov 22nd I recieved another polite and very apologetic reply from Mr. Gracia for taking so late to reply and informing me that I actually have reservtations at 7:30PM for the specific date I requested!!

Seriously, dealing with the folks at El Bulli is easier than dealing with many mediocre retsaurants' reservations people in Houston.

Now, the juggling starts to plan the trip and take days off from work and find a baby sitter...

Elie


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I am happy to report that El Bulli was able to change my reservation and accomodate us. I am so psyched. I need to start planning now. Does anyone know Rafa's schedule and if they are open in August?

John,

Rafa is open every day except Monday if I'm not mistaken, and he will close if the day's catch is not worth opening the restaurant. Regarding August, I'll try calling him tomorrow and will let you know.

Silly.


We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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I am happy to report that El Bulli was able to change my reservation and accomodate us. I am so psyched. I need to start planning now. Does anyone know Rafa's schedule and if they are open in August?

John,

Rafa is open every day except Monday if I'm not mistaken, and he will close if the day's catch is not worth opening the restaurant. Regarding August, I'll try calling him tomorrow and will let you know.

Silly.

Thanks, Silly. I appreciate it.


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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I am happy to report that El Bulli was able to change my reservation and accomodate us. I am so psyched. I need to start planning now. Does anyone know Rafa's schedule and if they are open in August?

John,

I am so glad you were able to get a reservation. :biggrin:

I'm really looking forward to hear your opinion of El Bulli.


Robert R

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I am happy to report that El Bulli was able to change my reservation and accomodate us. I am so psyched. I need to start planning now. Does anyone know Rafa's schedule and if they are open in August?

John,

Rafa is open every day except Monday if I'm not mistaken, and he will close if the day's catch is not worth opening the restaurant. Regarding August, I'll try calling him tomorrow and will let you know.

Silly.

Thanks, Silly. I appreciate it.

John, you can start dreaming about grilled San Pedro (John Dory) fresh from the boat, bright red tuna, mouth-watering espardenyes, cigalas and percebes.

Rafa is indeed open throughout August, given it is high season in Roses and the Costa Brava (didn't think of it before, fairly common sense once you think about it :blush:).

I recommend you call early the day you want to visit to make sure he is indeed open (as I said in my previous post, he won't if the day's catch is no good) and let him know you're coming.

Enjoy!

Silly.


Edited by Silly Disciple (log)

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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Thanks again Silly! Rafa's is indeed at the top of my list for that trip right behind El Bulli.


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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Congratulations to everyone who's won an El Bulli reservation so far - and it really is winning a lottery - but Buon Provecho to all nonetheless!

If you are going to Roses, you must also go to SnackMar/Las Golondrinas. The chef/co-owner was the chef of El Bulli Catering - and is a good friend of both the house of Adria and the house of Rafa. The menu includes a rotation of El Bulli's greatest dishes. It's right across from Rafa's - and in fact it was Rafa who called the chef to tell him the space was available. Las Golondrinas was the name of the bar that was on that site for 30 years or so - so they kept the name for locals. They've only been open since July - and remain undiscovered by the El Bulli destination diners - but on most nights you'll find El Bulli staff and sometimes Rafa's himself there - for a post-service plate and drink.

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If you are going to Roses, you must also go to SnackMar/Las Golondrinas. The chef/co-owner was the chef of El Bulli Catering - and is a good friend of both the house of Adria and the house of Rafa. The menu includes a rotation of El Bulli's greatest dishes. It's right across from Rafa's - and in fact it was Rafa who called the chef to tell him the space was available. Las Golondrinas was the name of the bar that was on that site for 30 years or so - so they kept the name for locals. They've only been open since July - and remain undiscovered by the El Bulli destination diners - but on most nights you'll find El Bulli staff and sometimes Rafa's himself there - for a post-service plate and drink.

My mind is trying to put things together and reach some understanding because the "El Bulli's greatest dishes" and SnackMar/Las Golondrinas seem a paradox. Perhaps my mermory is failing here, but if I remember well what I saw across Rafa's, that place doesn't look like the best place to open a restaurant including elBulli's dishes. Can you tell us a bit more, Louisa?

Now that I think of it, perhaps elBulli doesn't look like the place to serve elBulli's dishes either . . .


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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If you are going to Roses, you must also go to SnackMar/Las Golondrinas. The chef/co-owner was the chef of El Bulli Catering - and is a good friend of both the house of Adria and the house of Rafa. The menu includes a rotation of El Bulli's greatest dishes. It's right across from Rafa's - and in fact it was Rafa who called the chef to tell him the space was available. Las Golondrinas was the name of the bar that was on that site for 30 years or so - so they kept the name for locals. They've only been open since July - and remain undiscovered by the El Bulli destination diners - but on most nights you'll find El Bulli staff and sometimes Rafa's himself there - for a post-service plate and drink.

My mind is trying to put things together and reach some understanding because the "El Bulli's greatest dishes" and SnackMar/Las Golondrinas seem a paradox. Perhaps my mermory is failing here, but if I remember well what I saw across Rafa's, that place doesn't look like the best place to open a restaurant including elBulli's dishes. Can you tell us a bit more, Louisa?

Now that I think of it, perhaps elBulli doesn't look like the place to serve elBulli's dishes either . . .

There are actually two places across from Rafa. One is the one you're probably referring to, Pedro, which is a big, typical touristy, restaurant offering paella, etc. with a little hotel above it, and then there's Las Golondrinas to its right, a small place with just 4 tables inside, a big screen above the counter with "webcam" images of the kitchen and sliding doors.

Silly.


We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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It sounds as if SnackMar/ Las Golondrinas is fairly small. Anyone have any ideea about reservations either for there or Rafa's? I did a Google on SnackMar/Las Golondrinas and didn't come up with much. I also googled the names separately without much response.

As always, I appreciate the help and information.


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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SnackMar/Las Golondrinas is in fact that place with the sliding doors and kitchen-cam/plasma-screen. It's very modern/minimalist - the only place like it there - and in all of Roses. You cannot miss it.

They have not yet built up their website - but here it is - http://www.snackmar.com - I don't have the number with me - but I'll try to rustle it up.

Rafa's reservations - you can only make them as early as the day before. I have a few posts on my site about Rafa's - just search http://www.movable-feast.com for Rafa's.


Edited by LKL Chu (log)

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SnackMar/Las Golondrinas is in fact that place with the sliding doors and kitchen-cam/plasma-screen. It's very modern/minimalist - the only place like it there - and in all of Roses. You cannot miss it.

They have not yet built up their website - but here it is - http://www.snackmar.com - I don't have the number with me - but I'll try to rustle it up.

Rafa's reservations - you can only make them as early as the day before. I have a few posts on my site about Rafa's - just search http://www.movable-feast.com for Rafa's.

John,

I would think making a reservation at Las Golondrinas as late as a week in advance should be enough. I'll try to get you his number.

And, as Louisa said, you need to call Rafa the day before or the same day you're planning on visiting.

Silly.


We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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