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docsconz

El Raco de Can Fabes

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David, If there was any confusion it was mine. I was just emphasizing the point that the shrimp were fresh.


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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BTW, on two occasions, I've seen meditarrenean fishermen eating some raw tiny shrimps (gamebretti) as a snack during their work. Just like we eat some peanuts in front of the TV. I bet they don't know that their snack is on the menu list of a ***. :biggrin:


Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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Sorry for the late post but I have been on a job search/eating extravaganza. Dosconz, I would be surely astonished if you came down with something due to the food at Can Fabes, but stranger things have happened. What you ate are called gambas plasticos--I believe due to the plastic like shells of the shrimp, and they arrive every morning fresh from the purveyor and are under maticulous scrutiny and storage once they arrive. Usually, the dish would have been under my supervision--coming from garde manger/cuatro frio, but being the end of my stay here (my last day in fact), I had left as chef de partie some two weeks earlier and was just general help/advisor that day, so I cannot say precisely if they (the shrimp) were suspect that day.

The gambas crudo are laid on a bed of brunoise of manzana verde (green apple), topped with lemon confit, tomatoes, red bellpepper, xtra virgen olive oil and a caviar sauce.

I had eaten at the restaurant with my parents last week but opted to select my own menu--one of the benefits of being an insider. I can say that it made for a great last impression on me-- as will Catalunya and Spain.

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Simon, good luck with your next steps in your career. We'll follow your progress with deep interest and sympathy.

May I ask if you're considering to stay in Spain ? If so, any particular area that appeals to you?


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Sorry for the late post but I have been on a job search/eating extravaganza.  Dosconz, I would be surely astonished if you came down with something due to the food at Can Fabes, but stranger things have happened.  What you ate are  called gambas plasticos--I believe due to the plastic like shells of the shrimp, and they arrive every morning fresh from the purveyor and are under maticulous scrutiny and storage once they arrive.  Usually, the dish would have been under my supervision--coming from garde manger/cuatro frio, but being the end of my stay here (my last day in fact), I had left as chef de partie some two weeks earlier and was just general help/advisor that day, so I cannot say precisely if they (the shrimp) were suspect that day. 

The gambas crudo are laid on a bed of brunoise of manzana verde (green apple), topped with lemon confit, tomatoes, red bellpepper, xtra virgen olive oil and a caviar sauce. 

I had eaten at the restaurant with my parents last week but opted to select my own menu--one of the benefits of being an insider.  I can say that it made for a great last impression on me-- as will Catalunya and Spain.

Simon,

It ws great meeting you and thanks for the response. Given what I saw of the meticulousness of Can Fabes, I too doubt very much that any of us got sick from any of the ingredients being off in any way. What even raises the question at all is thenumber of us that got sick and the timing with which it happened. It started late that night and went through the next day and night. If it came from Can Fabes, my suspicion is that someone working there that day and handling some but not all of the food might have inadvertantly passed something on. It is not difficult to do and I do not hold the restaurant to be particularly at fault. I believe it was one of those things, but the circumstances were too strong to not make an association with the restaurant. Nevertheless, as I said earlier, I would suffer it again if I had to for the overall quality of the meal and the experience we had there.


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 had eaten at the restaurant with my parents last week but opted to select my own menu--one of the benefits of being an insider.  I can say that it made for a great last impression on me-- as will Catalunya and Spain.

Simon, I'm curious to know which dishes you chose. Has game started to arrive to Can Fabes?


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Dosconz- it was also a great pleasure meeting you. Thanks for the great photos of me and the crew busy at work. Oh yeah the food doesn't look so bad either. :raz:

Well my insiders menu could change from day to day, but with my parents I chose to go with mostly the classics.

Well we started with the typical amuse geules with a glass of Cava Gran d'Abbatis Brut Nature. I have to say, Santi's amuses are some of the most striking of all the three stars I've eaten at here in Spain.

Then I let the super sommelier, Juan Carlos Ibanez, choose our wines for us. He chose a wine from a vineyard we had visited together in the late spring, Can Rafols dels Caus, El Rocallis 2000 Penedes. This is a fine example of the great mineral whites that are coming from this up and coming region. This was to accompany the first few courses which included in order:

--"Tomaco" a la albahaca-- a mock tomatoe made by adding gelatin to tomatoe sauce then pouring the mixture into silipad half dome molds. Once chilled and set, you take a mellon baller and scoop out the core, fill with a basil creme anglaise of sorts, put the two half domes together to form a tomatoe sphere (fools a lot of people who think its nothing but a peeled tomato). It is garnished with a sprig of basil, thinly sliced onion and thinly sliced crouton and then drizzeled with a basil oil.

--Ravioli de Gambas al Aceite de "ceps" Santi Santamaria-- this dish used to be the bane of my existence for although not complicated to make, takes a long time to prepare. The filling is nothing but a duxelle of cep and onion confit. The ravioli is formed from a mold filled with flattened Gambas de Blanes (red shrimp right from the region, fresh, delicious and expensive). You see four or five flattened shrimp is used as the "pasta" to encase the cep duxelle. The gambas are raw when first used but pass for less than a minute under the salamander before going out, bare seizing the shrimp which is now between raw and semi cooked.

--Caviar con Tocino--a great dish again. Classic too. Pork fat from the neck of the pig is slow braised (sous vide) then reheated a la minute, placed onto a unctuous island of potato puree surrounded with a foamy "mantaquilla salsa" and topped with Osetra caviar. Sounds a little bizarre at first but once you take your first bite--Mar y Montanya at its finest.

This is when we switched wines, where Juan Carlos chose a suave Valenciso 1998 Rioja.

--Llagosta y Espardenyes con Salsa Curry-- Again nothing complicated here. Just impeccably fresh or should I say live spiny lobster and Espardenyes (something well discussed before here on Egullet) a la plancha with a curry sauce. If I learn nothing more that remembering all the seafood I've eaten off this chrome like plancha, I've learned enough. It is one of the finest ways to cook not only fish but a myriad of other food. BTW, for me espardenyes may be one of my favorite things to eat, but very expensive as well. I will need to find a source in the states for them, because I am already having cravings--but luckily still living in Sant Celoni.

I have to say the Valenciso was not over the top for this dish and with the curry accents went very well. I don't quite know if the 100% Tempranillo makes for a more sublte and elegant wine or if it was the deftness of the vignerons, but I also tremedously enjoyed it with our next course as well.

--Pollo de Bresse (Poulet de Bresse)-- This is where a simple dish hides its somewhat more complex preperation. As has been widely discussed elsewhere in this site, cooking sous vide or vacio (as its known here), gives more control and thus a better finished product. Carved tableside--all I can say is luxurious dining.

The cheese course gives you a cornucopia of excellent Spanish cheeses, that I can confess I do not know enough about. A couple of interesting Catalan cheeses are: Cendrat- covered with ashes, Montsec- local hard goats cheese and one of my favorites-Mahon-- made from Freisan cow's milk.

I love to tell myself that I am not a big dessert eater, but usually I will have a bite of someone elses. I opted this time to skip dessert and just take sorbets and the mignardise.

At this point, I would have liked to have sat around and smoked a Cuban cigar from their great collection (just cause they're not easily obtained in the US and for these prices--got to give them a try), but my parents frown on such activitites. Plus I am not a big cigar smoker.

I would like to note that if not for the recent thread on Poulet de Bresse in the French forum I would probably have chosen the Cabrito a la salvia--but I had tried the cabrito enough and was curious to try the Bresse Can Fabes style--plus knowing my aging parents and knowing Santi's generous portions--the cabrito would have been overkill--deliciuos but rich.

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You had a great meal indeed, Simon! Your description of the dishes brings me vivid memories of my meals at Can Fabes and makes me wanting to return there.

Then I let the super sommelier, Juan Carlos Ibanez, choose our wines for us.  He chose a wine from a vineyard we had visited together in the late spring, Can Rafols dels Caus, El Rocallis 2000 Penedes.  This is a fine example of the great mineral whites that are coming from this up and coming region. 

Can Rafols produces some of the best white wines in the country. Believe me when I say that making good white wine is not an easy task in Spain due to many reasons . Their Chenin Blanc Vinya La Calma is one of my favorite wines.

--"Tomaco" a la albahaca--

Just a minor correction, the actual name in Catalonian for tomato is tomaquet.

--Ravioli de Gambas al Aceite de "ceps" Santi Santamaria-- this dish used to be the bane of my existence for although not complicated to make, takes a long time to prepare.  The filling is nothing but a duxelle of cep and onion confit.  The ravioli is formed from a mold filled with flattened Gambas de Blanes (red shrimp right from the region, fresh, delicious and expensive).  You see four or five flattened shrimp is used as the "pasta" to encase the cep duxelle.  The gambas are raw when first used but pass for less than a minute under the salamander before going out, bare seizing the shrimp which is now between raw and semi cooked.

--Caviar con Tocino--a great dish again.  Classic too.  Pork fat from the neck of the pig is slow braised (sous vide) then reheated a la minute, placed onto a unctuous island of potato puree surrounded with a foamy "mantaquilla salsa" and topped with Osetra caviar.  Sounds a little bizarre at first but once you take your first bite--Mar y Montanya at its finest.

Two of the best dishes I've ever had. The caviar con tocino immediately catched my eye the first time I saw the menu at Can Fabes. The combination seemed then counter-intuitive to me. The sensation dramatically changed with the first bite. The puree with the mantequilla is as light as a puree can get while being a puree.

This is when we switched wines, where Juan Carlos chose a suave Valenciso 1998 Rioja.

BTW, for me espardenyes may be one of my favorite things to eat, but very expensive as well.  I will need to find a source in the states for them, because I am already having cravings--but luckily still living in Sant Celoni.

Bad new for you, Simon. I'm afraid that non-mediterranean espardenyes (sea cucumbers) have little in common with what you've tasted.


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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BTW, does anyone know where I can find espardenyes a la plancha in Barcalona or nearby?

Simon,

After your post about the meal with your parents I'm dying to try Can Fabes! Thanks for the description.

Regarding espardenyes a la plancha, an obvious destination would be Rafa in Roses, although since he serves the day's catch you are not guaranteed to find them. It might be best to call ahead. And if you do go, don't miss the San Pedro a la plancha if he has it.

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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Simon,

Your menu makes me wish to return to try the dishes that I didn't get to when I was there. I would have loved to try the espardanyes in particular since I never got to try them on our trip. The tomaquet was indeed a fabulous dish. I would be very intrigued by the Bresse chicken as well, although I don't know if I could give up the cabrito.

Any decisions as to where to next?


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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BTW, does anyone know where I can find espardenyes a la plancha in Barcalona or nearby?

One possibility might be the Boqueria. kiosk Universal does very nice grilled seafood. Whether or not they would have them on any given day (or ever) is another question, although I bet they would.


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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Great, great posts. A virtual dining experience.

Does anyone know the cost of the fixed price lunch at Can Fabes? I'd also be interested in the cost of lunch at El Celler de Can Roca, Sant Pau, Hispania and Aligue.

Thanks in advance.


Corinna Hardgrave aka "Corinna Dunne"

CorinaHardgrave Twitter

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Great, great posts. A virtual dining experience. 

Does anyone know the cost of the fixed price lunch at Can Fabes?  I'd also be interested in the cost of lunch at El Celler de Can Roca, Sant Pau, Hispania and Aligue. 

Thanks in advance.

see here , prices are discussed in the Can Roca thread.

SD


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, just been on that thread. I could only find lunch prices for Can Roca and Can Fabes. Have you any info on San Pau, Hispania and Aligue?


Corinna Hardgrave aka "Corinna Dunne"

CorinaHardgrave Twitter

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Unfortunately I cannot provide prices as my meals at Can Fabes and Sant Pau were included in the cost of my trip and I was a guest at Aligue. My visit to Hispania was too long ago and my memory of that detail too spotty to provide worthwhile information. While none of these places are cheap, each provided very worthwhile meals. Can Fabes and Sant Pau are right up there with the best meals I have ever had. The likelihood that they or Aligue were overpriced is extremely slim. I'm afraid that does not help with figuring a budget.


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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Re Sant Pau: On the RelaisChateaux site the price of the set menu is given as 89 euros plus tax (7%) and a la carte as 85-90 euros plus tax

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If that was the price of the meal I had there, it was an absolute bargain.


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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Just checked on Sant Pau's own site.

Menú 99 euros plus 7% tax


Edited by Saborosa (log)

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Still a bargain. :smile: Thanks.


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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Sunday lunch here before flying home. Slightly rushed tasting menu - a macaroni dish as one of the courses has changed my view on pasta.

I like this restaurant.


Edited by SamanthaF (log)

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Sunday lunch here before flying home. Slightly rushed tasting menu - a macaroni dish as one of the courses has changed my view on pasta.

I like this restaurant.

What was the main course? You seem positive but a little less enthusiastic than Con Roca. Is this a correct inference?

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Sunday lunch here before flying home. Slightly rushed tasting menu - a macaroni dish as one of the courses has changed my view on pasta.

I like this restaurant.

What was the main course? You seem positive but a little less enthusiastic than Con Roca. Is this a correct inference?

We had the Lamb as the main, with 1 other having the sweet bread.

Con Roca was strides ahead, but then did you see the wines we drank! :wink:

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- a macaroni dish as one of the courses has changed my view on pasta.

I like this restaurant.

Was this the same macaroni dish that I posted a photo of upthread? Given the time between now and then, I doubt it, but that was a phenomenal dish.


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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- a macaroni dish as one of the courses has changed my view on pasta.

I like this restaurant.

Was this the same macaroni dish that I posted a photo of upthread? Given the time between now and then, I doubt it, but that was a phenomenal dish.

We too were here recently, so presume we had the same macaroni dish as SamanthaF. It wasn't the same as yours Doc, it was called 'macarrones salteados con jugo de trufas', which was baby octapus with large macaroni in a coral coloured, buttery sauce with parsley, served in the pan. I don't remember the macaroni being crispy in the way you described. But it was sublime.

We had the Primavera Menu for 125 euro, and as there are no posts on it, I'll give a run through with a bit of detail.

Amuse gueles were very good, my favourite being the take on 'meille feuille' which I see in your shots. There was also a skewer of ham with melon, a cylinder of black and white pudding, foie on artichoke and quails eggs (I know, I don't know how they made the cut, and they were a bit cold too).

Next was 'huevos aromatizados', (aromatic eggs) which were a real headline grabber. We were presented with two eggs in stands, both with their tops neatly cut off. The quail's egg contained a ginger foam and the hen's egg had a ham and rosemary foam (great combination too). This was sensational and a really good palate teaser.

This was followed by the first of 5 fish courses:

1. 'Caballa en escabeche con foie, cebolla tierna y col' which was roasted red mullet (skin salted and crisped), wrapped in bacon on white asparagus and foie gras with balsamic reduction.

2. 'Merluza de costa con pie de ternera a la "Ravigota" "calcots" y aceite do romesco' was hake on roasted spring onions with concasse of vegetables in a veal jus (with vinegar).

3. 'Crustaceos servidos en una bullabesa con pan frito y azafran' which was crayfish on diced fried saffron potatoes in a wonderfully light bouillebaisse soup.

4. Then came the baby octapus with large macaroni dish which I discussed earlier.

5. The last fish dish was 'Pescado sequin el cesto del pescador de Blanes con una salsa do algas' which was 2 fish (dourade and an oily fish) with samphire, on a bed of beans with a foaming white sauce which had a delicate touch of curry. Whilst this was yet another perfect dish, it was an unbelievably generous serving, and was one fish dish too far for us. We were becoming overwhelmed...

.. And the mains were next which was a choice of 3 meat dishes:

1. 'Pichon con caracoles y tripa de bacalao' which was pigeon with snails, tripe and tiny onions in a sauce

2. 'Conejo con el lomo relleno', a rabbit, rolled and stuffed, served with potatoes and a mushroom sauce for a minimum of 2 people

3. 'Ris de veau lacado' which was sweetbreads with spring onions and baby onions in a reduction sauce.

We opted for the sweetbreads and the pigeon which was wonderfully succellent and gamey. We were 'hitting the wall' on this gastronomic marathon by this stage.

Next came the extensive cheeseboard and we soldiered on, sticking with the Spanish cheeses which were really good.

This was followed by a sorbet course (pear, mandarin and pineapple) before the 2 dessert courses:

1. 'Bavaroise de madronos con sopa de frutas exciticas' which was a peach and mango bavarois with exotic fruits (more small dice) which was fresh and tingly

2. 'Tartaleta de caramelo, con habas de cacao y helado de cacahuete' was a creamy caramel and praline flavoured (?) tart with wonderful chocolate.

And the last round was the incredibly delicious petits fours which we were incapable of finishing.

The food was truly wonderful, with some exceptional dishes. The sauces were sublime - as you would expect from a 3 star restaurant - and many of my plates went back to the kitchen with not a single trace of sauce (which apparently made chef extremely happy!). However, I think that the menu had too many fish dishes, and much and all as I hate to fault Santa Maria's generousity, I would really have to take issue with him over the sheer volume of food.

The service was excellent and as relaxed as is practicable within the 3 star framework, but personally I prefer to see less of the waiters and the Michellin 'must have' pretensions. What's more, this just didn't sit comfortably with these really nice, sincere people.

I would love to eat here again, but next time I would opt for Espai Coch, which I understand is the 40 euro menu near the kitchen. That would have to be a real bargain: those wonderful sauces, and not too much food.

I'm afraid that fcr a tasting menu (and for value), I agree with SamanthaF, and Can Roca wins hands down against Can Fabes.


Corinna Hardgrave aka "Corinna Dunne"

CorinaHardgrave Twitter

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