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El Celler de Can Roca


pedro
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Did they include dishes from the so called classic menu, that is, their stellar dishes dating back to the eighties?
I am not sure; there was a specific menu that included indeed several courses from other years, but I don't remember what courses were in that menu.

I will try to copy the menu here (unfortuantely in English while I had prefered to have it in the original language, because of wahat Bux is stating: the mistranslations).

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I've seen some really gross mistranslations on menus, even at world class restaurants with multilingual staff.
You are quite right, Bux, and even the waiters were not that good in English, nor in French. The Roca-brothers on the contrary do speak well French.
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We have yet to publish our 2005 October/November Spanish trip which included the Can Roca brothers; this culinary destination which we visited many times before our last return trip in Fall 2005.

We do not support Pedro's assessment. Can Roca is a marvelous restaurant which has promised and executed some exciting dishes for the diner. It still offers some exciting dishes. After our last 2005, Fall visit, we do not agree that it is a three star expereince. We will be more specific in our egullet later response which we will report before the New Year. Judith Gebhart

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I look forward to your report, Judith. At the risk of repeating myself, the three meals I had at Can Roca between July 04 and July 05 have been the best I've had in any restaurant in Spain over that period. And I'm still counting.

PD: That includes a disappointing dinner at San Pau this week which tends to confirm the idea that the previous unsatisfactory lunch I had over there wasn't a flash in the vacuum.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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After numerous visits to Can Roca over the years and watching them fine tune their cuisine and their overall style mature, i feel that it is the lack of a world class room and ambiance that prevents los hermanos Roca from their third macaron. It would not surprise me that after the move to their new digs in downtown Gerona next year, it will prove to be the missing piece in the equation.

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PD: That includes a disappointing dinner at San Pau this week which tends to confirm the idea that the previous unsatisfactory lunch I had over there wasn't a flash in the vacuum.

Pedro, perhaps on that thread you can tell us what was disappointing to you about Sant Pau and whether you have ever felt satisfied 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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After numerous visits to Can Roca over the years and watching them fine tune their cuisine and their overall style mature, i  feel that it is the lack of a world class room and ambiance that prevents los hermanos Roca from their third macaron.  It would not surprise me that after the move to their new digs in downtown Gerona next year, it will prove to be the missing piece in the equation.

On the other hand, Blumenthal seemed to have been informed by a Michelin inspector that it would be wise not to move to another, more lucurious place. So I don't know whether the ambiance at Can Roca is the main reason. It was suggested earlier that the Roca brothers haven't been in the possession of their two stars long enough to deserve already their third.
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After numerous visits to Can Roca over the years and watching them fine tune their cuisine and their overall style mature, i  feel that it is the lack of a world class room and ambiance that prevents los hermanos Roca from their third macaron.  It would not surprise me that after the move to their new digs in downtown Gerona next year, it will prove to be the missing piece in the equation.

On the other hand, Blumenthal seemed to have been informed by a Michelin inspector that it would be wise not to move to another, more lucurious place. So I don't know whether the ambiance at Can Roca is the main reason. It was suggested earlier that the Roca brothers haven't been in the possession of their two stars long enough to deserve already their third.

We returned again to Can Roca this year with great anticipation; hoping that even more menu items would be as compelling and inventive as we had experienced two and three years ago.

We enjoyed the meal and rated it highly; we did not find it a three star experience!!

We were seated, as we have always been, in the front area of the restaurant; although we wished to experience the back room overlooking a garden area, our request has never been satisfied. The aesthetics of the dining experience are always less important than the menu's content. We ordered again the tasting menu and specifically requested, via email, the cepe ice cream which was delicious as it had been on an earlier visit.

There is no doubt about the Roca brothers' singular and collective talent. It is, in our opinion given our Nov. 2005 visit, that the brothers are stalled or frozen in their culinary approach. We found little to excite our collective palates'. The menu did nothing to champion their culinary acumen. We would not rate their current work as Michelin 3 star material. I donnot think that Michelin is the be all end of all all guides. I only use it as a rating guide and probably not the best. Gualt Millau rates few Spanish restaurants. Nevertheless, we cannot extol the virtues of Can Roca's culinary talents. They continue to offer excellent fare. They were in the vanguard but we think they are exhausted or resting on their laurels. We are no longer energized by their efforts. We report this with a heavy heart, Judith Gebhart

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We returned again to Can Roca this year with great anticipation; hoping that even more menu items would be as compelling and inventive as we had experienced two and three years ago.

We enjoyed the meal and rated it highly; we did not find it a three star experience!!

We were seated, as we have  always been, in the front area of the restaurant; although we wished to experience the back room overlooking a garden area, our request has never been satisfied. The aesthetics of the dining experience are always  less important than the menu's content. We ordered again the tasting menu and specifically requested, via email, the cepe ice cream which was delicious as it had been on an earlier visit.

There is no doubt about the Roca brothers' singular and collective talent. It is, in our opinion given our Nov. 2005 visit, that the brothers are stalled or frozen in their culinary approach.  We found little to excite our collective palates'. The menu  did nothing to champion their culinary acumen. We would not rate their current work as Michelin 3 star material. I donnot think that Michelin is the be all end of all all guides. I only use it as a rating guide and probably not the best. Gualt Millau rates few Spanish restaurants. Nevertheless, we cannot extol the virtues of Can Roca's culinary talents. They continue to offer excellent fare. They were in the vanguard but we think they are exhausted or resting on their laurels. We are no longer energized by their efforts. We report this with a heavy heart, Judith Gebhart

Judith,

Yours is the only opinion in this direction I've heard in a long time. I have planned a visit at the end of February, and will report back.

Cheers,

Luis

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i completely and absolutely agree that Michelin is not the be all and end all of guides. i do stand by my previous comment though that maintaining current standards that they are a shoo in for *** when they re-locate. Especially when one considers how Michelin doles out stars in Spain and the importance (their) that they place on ambiance and quality of the room.

I neither agree nor disagree with their decision.

Edited by milla (log)
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i completely and absolutely agree that Michelin is not the be all and end all of guides.  i do stand by my previous comment though that maintaining current standards that they are a shoo in for *** when they re-locate.  Especially when one considers how Michelin doles out stars in Spain and the importance (their) that they place on ambiance and quality of the room.

I neither agree nor disagree with their decision.

This is from the Michelin press release for the 2006 Guide Rouge for Spain & Portugal:

"Stars judge only ”what’s on the plate,” meaning the quality of the cuisine. They are awarded to restaurants that offer the finest cooking – regardless of style- based on product quality, the cuisine’s personality, preparation and flavours, value for money and consistency over time and across the entire menu. These are the only criteria used in awarding stars. Interior decoration, table settings, the number of waiters and the quality of facilities and equipment are taken into consideration only for comfort ratings, which use fork-and-spoon symbols. The best example is a three-star restaurant in the United Kingdom that used to be a pub. Although the decoration is simple and there aren’t two waiters per table, the establishment has had three stars since 2004, thanks to its exceptional cuisine."

The same passage can be found in the other press releases for 2006 guides. The Spannish release can be found here. The quote can be found on page 9 and 10.

Whether this is only what Michelin says and not how they really judge is another matter.

When my glass is full, I empty it; when it is empty, I fill it.

Gastroville - the blog

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Someday I'll have more to say about disingenuity in gastronomic media, but for now I'll limit it to the discussion on Michelin. Milla's original post in this thread gave me pause. "Lack of a world class room and ambiance" must refer to the building and interior decoration, or even perhaps the locale, if anything, I found the service impressively professional. I wondered if I was impressed simply because I hadn't expected it in the outskirts of a provincial capital and there's certainly nothing about the approach or exterior of the restaurant to riase one's expectations. Personally, and it may be because I'm partial to a minimalist esthetic, I found the interior strikingly urbane and at least a satisfactory setting for three star food, if not as luxurious or majestic as most of the three star provincial restaurants in France. Within Spain, only elBulli and Can Fabes seem significantly more so. Arzak has redone its interior in recent years, but even the new one doesn't seem to offer a room that's as fine as Can Roca's. I've found Berasategui to offer some majesty, but I also suspect it's because we've only had lunch there and the expansive view is wonderful. Dining on the terrace is also an exceptional experience. I actually happen to love the ambience at Martin, but I've read enough criticism to know that others may not. Outside of Spain, the Fat Duck is a prime example of a room lacking in world class and ambience. Michelin, in an unusual move, awards it more stars than forks. On one level it's unreasonable to go to the UK for examples, but on another level, no discussion of this sort can really escape the question of whether Spain gets a fair shake from the red guide and if Can Roca suffers simply because it's south of the Pyrenees.

Judith's criticism of the food, and I read her judgments as those of a qualified gastronome, reminds us of exactly how subjective the topic may be. The one objective difference between her perspective and mine is that I believe she's had a greater number of meals at Can Roca. I've had two and the second one was that much better than the first. I don't know if that's because I took the grander and longer menu, I was able to appreciate the food better for the little knowledge I had gotten from the first meal and other meals in Catalunya, or if, in fact, the cuisine had improved. In my view, it seemed to be the last case was the most significant one. If they are resting on their laurels, it's going to escape notice by anyone with my limited experience. Nevertheless, she seems to indicate it's still a solid two star restaurant and I have to note that my luck at two star restaurants may be even better than it's been at three star establishments.

I think it's not a simple question of whether Michelin really judges the way it says it does, but that it's possible they believe they do while the results are less than convincing to the rest of us. I am, by the way, racking my brain to come up with a three star restaurant in France that doesn't have a world class setting. Milla's comment is not so easily dismissed.

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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Let me clarify on my comment about a world class room as it pertains to Can Roca. it is the physicality that I feel is lacking.Certainly not the locale. The room has a trendy mid-80's feel to it and it is frayed and shop worn around the edges. I think it needs a facelift or at least some sort of updated look. Chipped corners, dented chairs, jarring color scheme, etc. that is entirely subjective I realize, and certainly in no way did it interfere with my enjoyment of the restaurant, the food, service and the superlative wine list. It is more a comment, a touch cynical perhaps, about Michelin and what they regard as important and what i feel is just merely press release lip service.

Let me know if you think of a French *** that doesn't have a world class setting. I can't think of one either though Lameloise or Bocuse gave me pause...

Oops. edited to add Lameloise dropped a star recently...

Edited by milla (log)
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  • 2 months later...
  • 5 months later...

After my last year's great impression I was looking forward to visit CR again this year, the expectations were high and the coments of people attending this year haven't been too positive so I didn't know what to expect.

We told Pitu to serve whatever he wanted and this is what we had:

After the compulsory and nice amuse geule we started with the aperitives:

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Marinated anchoive with apple, olive oil icecream (?) and chartreuse(¡) sauce. Fake fideua with crayfish and leek veloute. Pigeon parfait with Bristol cream Jelly.

All of them creative and delicious. Some where small portions of other year`s classics like the pigeon parfait and the fake fideuá but worth repeating.

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Oyster with earth destilated.

This was a weird dish that I loved but I undrestand that some people can hate it, the earth taste is so deep thet brings you back memories...

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Apple soup with tomato frappe, anchoives and modena aceto icecream.

A really refreshing dish with lots of different touches that were stimulating the taste with every sip. The only issue is that the suop poured over the dish was very cold and it was difficult to match the different tastes.

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Fig with foie grass, truffles and PX gelly.

A classic combination for a succesfully foie gras dish. Delicious.

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Vegetables panache with a riesling sauce.

The idea was interesting as they are using xantana like Adrià to settle the stocks as souces without adding extra ingredients, but the alcohol of the wine was overpowering the dish making it hard to enjoy.

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Smoked aubergine mousse with anchoive and gelly.

This is probably the best aubergine dish that I've ever had (I love aubergines), amazing texture, taste and combination. At this moment the seven people eating at our table were shut and all you could hear was ummm, ummmm....

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Prawns smoked with Jawa pepper and musseline of it's heads.

Good but somehow lacking of deeper flavour and taste.

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Horse mackerel belly in a roasted peppers destilated.

Really good and tasty, almost raw (probably cooked sous vide) and finalized on the plancha.

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Foie Grass over a seaweed stock and amontillado sherry with salmon roe.

Good, but I'm a bit tired of foie grass dishes and I had had a good one at the begining of the meal, so it was bit of repetition.

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Baby goat with melon, mustard and mint.

Delicious is short for such an amazing dish. Again cooked sous vide but melting in your mouth.

First dessert was called the wine on the plate and it was a deconstruction of a Peter Jakob Khün TBA, same thing that they are doing with the perfumes but with a wine. And the resoult was failed because of the alcohol again overpowering the dish.

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Carolina by Carolina Herrera.

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Orange cromatography.

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Desserts are interesting but more intelectual than delicious, I had asked for the Trip to La Habana that they failed to serve because of Jordi arriving from a holiday trip in London and wasn't at his best form.

Petit Fours

Special mention for the Wine lists and the superb bread tray.

Overall impression was good but lacking the greatness of last year's when I left claiming for the third star, this time I left with the impression that it is a well deserved two stars, nothuing more but nothing less. Maybe it's because of the premises changing or because you can not keep the same creativity and pulse every year.

Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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Overall impression was good but lacking the greatness of last year's when I left claiming for the third star, this time I left with the impression that it is a well deserved two stars, nothuing more but nothing less.

I had precisely the same impression when I had lunch at Can Roca

a couple of weeks ago. When I compare with Carme Ruscalleda's food,

I have to agree with Michelin to promote only her restaurant to three stars this

year.

Edited by malacitana (log)
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  • 3 months later...

I've been wanting to try El Celler de Can Roca for a long, long time, and finally got to eat there in early November. The food matched my very high expectations - especially Jordi's outstanding desserts - though the setting did not - couldn't help finding the room a bit too bright and colourful. I had the surprise menu, and I've written a dish-by-dish report, with photos of all but one of the dishes, which I've posted here:

Celler de Can Roca report

Alexandra Forbes

Brazilian food and travel writer, @aleforbes on Twitter

Official Website

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I've been wanting to try El Celler de Can Roca for a long, long time, and finally got to eat there in early November. The food matched my very high expectations - especially Jordi's outstanding desserts -  though the setting did not - couldn't help finding the room a bit too bright and colourful. I had the surprise menu, and I've written a dish-by-dish report, with photos of all but one of the dishes, which I've posted here:

Celler de Can Roca report

Nice report, Alexandra. It was interesting to see that he is now using "earth" in slightly different ways than he originally used it. Was your photo of Roca and Adria from Madrid Fusion? I am planning a trip there in the spring and very much looking forward to trying it for myself. It is my understanding that the restaurant may have a new home by then.

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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Hi

I was in Spain for 4 days late september, and had diner or lunch at El Bulli (wil post on the other topic) , Celler de can Roca, Rafas, and Mas Pau among others.

I've uploaded the pix (all of them, including the blurry ones :-) athe the following address ( sorry no legend for the moment)

sept 06' spanish restaurants pix

Talking about Celler, it was my second lunch there (first was last year).

To me the food was WOnderful and even better than the first time , but some constrution or deconstruction works going on in the building next door made quite a horrible noise, that kind of prevented us to completely enjoy the meal. However, some of my friends who were eating there for the first time were just amazed by their meal

Let Eat Be

Food, Wine & other Delights

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Yes, Doc, El Celler should have a new home by then, in downtown Girona - that's what I've heard, too. A good thing, too! I'm sure you'll have a wonderful meal, so the wait is well worth it.

The photo of Joan and Ferran was taken in October at the Spain's 10 event in New York,

although I took lots of other ones at the Madrid Fusion.

Alexandra Forbes

Brazilian food and travel writer, @aleforbes on Twitter

Official Website

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Yes, Doc, El Celler should have a new home by then, in downtown Girona - that's what I've heard, too. A good thing, too! I'm sure you'll have a wonderful meal, so the wait is well worth it.

The photo of Joan and Ferran was taken in October at the Spain's 10 event in New York,

although I took lots of other ones at the Madrid Fusion.

Silly me, I should have thought of that. :biggrin:

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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  • 1 month later...

Can anyone tell me if El Celler de Can Roca is open on Sundays?

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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