Love and Food in the Big D

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Barcelona, Spain Day 3 - Dinner at Comerç 24

So I have to admit that for as much as I was looking forward to trying out these well known, Michelin star restaurants Chad had made reservations at during our time in Europe... a part of me.. A HUGE part of me, was nervous.  I tried not to show it or bring it up to Chad so he wouldn't feel guilty or think he was "dragging" me to something I wasn't ready for... Because I WAS still excited to see what all the buzz was about and I know my palate had come a long way in these last three years.  But would these things be over my head?  Would I even "get" it?  Would they be offended if I didn't finish everything they brought out??  

Sensing my trepidation, Chad "prepped" me beforehand, telling me that IT WOULD in fact be a very different dining experience than I've ever known before and that even HE would give up control of his menu selections if a set "tasting menu" was offered.  So I put my trust in the culinary gods of Comerç 24 and never looked back.  :)

Dinner reservations were set for 9:30 and after brief review of the menu... (a 12 course set tasting menu being offered and selected)... one of our 3 waiters asked us if we had any food preferences or allergies, then brought out some bread (chosen by us from a HUGE tray of different artisanal breads they presented to us)  and our wine selection.  

One by one, the dishes came out...beautifully presented and full of culinary delight.  All of our senses were engaged..from the striking colors of the beet foam to flavor combinations even Chad had never tried before. And even though there were a few things that weren't exactly my cup of tea, I did try and FINISH everything that came our way.  12 courses in over 3 hours!  Needless to say, it was most definitely the most unique and FLAVORFUL dining experience of my life!  

 Cauliflower Soup with Smoked Tea and Nori, Cauliflower Florets with Ginger and Rice Vinegar and Chilled Monkfish with Black Sesame and Black Garlic

French Oysters with Beet Foam

 Beach Shrimp Ceviche with White Peach Ice "Granita"

 "Pizza 24" -Black Fig, Anchovies and Arugula

 Filo, Parmesan and Lemon Cigars with Basil

 Cockles in Clarified Dashi Broth with Okra

 Marinated Sardines with Orange, Wasabi and "Crunchies" for some texture - So Simple and yet so flavorful. A favorite

 Our Favorite Olive Oil.  Part of the tasting menu included a Spanish Olive Oil Flight with our Bread. 
 The oils ranged from big and bold to light and fruity.  This one was in the middle somewhere.

 Consome with Truffle, Parmesan and Egg Spheres

 Razor Clams "Yakisoba"

 Tuna Sashimi "Pizza"

 Tuna Tartare with Salmon Roe and Egg Yolk

Chad, contemplating the next dish.. :)

 Cod Romesco and Squash Blossom

 Field Rabbit Risotto with Esperdenyes (Sea Cucumber)

 Prawn in Salt - This was a super fresh Prawn where the tail was dipped into hot water until just barely cooked leaving the head still raw.  "FROM THE SEA" would be the best description for the flavor

 Iberian Cochinillio - The skin was CANDY

 Cheese Course with Spanish Cheese with the exception of the Brie from France.  Wish we could remember them all... doubtful we can find them here in Dallas anyway.

Restaurant Chandelier made of music cymbals :)

 "Mel y Mato" with Summer Truffle
Almost like a marshmallow with crushed unsweetened dark chocolate "crunchies" and truffle shavings, candied hazelnut on the side.

 This was ridiculously good. A moment of silence please....

 Lemon Ice Tea with Pineapple


 The first wave...

 The final course... 6 different items

 Apple-Saffron with a Caramel Chocolate Crumble

 "Conguito ç24" - They look like dense chocolate truffles yet they are thin chocolate shells filled with an amazing creamy hazelnut-like core.  Surprise would best describe this dish.

 "Napolita" with Strawberries.  A simple Cream Foam with Whole Basil Leaves and Strawberries

A moment of silence for the barren rock that no longer held our favorite dessert.  

Dark Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches with Sesame, Coco Crusted Pine Nuts, Ganache Painted with Gold Dust and Grean Tea White Chocolate Bars.

 A lil' sumpin' sumpin' to remember the meal so we wouldn't forget the awesomeness.

To read more about the excitement leading up to this restaurant visit, check out our original Comerç 24 post HERE.  

Barcelona, Spain Day 3 - Old Neighborhood, Park Guell & Tibidabo

Ten years ago I called this little piece of Barcelona home.  For four months in the fall of 2001, four of my best girlfriends and I from Texas A&M, would wake up in our tiny Gracia apartments and head to our studio for our architecture classes each day.  We'd walk down the street of Escorial, passing the supermercados, and little cafes, that not surprisingly, were still alive and kicking..unchanged over the last ten years.  The moment Chad and I stepped off that metro train at the Joanic stop I had known so well, it all came back.  The smells were the same, the buzz and energy of the neighborhood was exactly the same...even the people somehow LOOKED the same.  Because we were meeting Jenn and Brent for lunch before heading to see our old apartment, I got a chance to just stand there and soak it all in.  I've never appreciated my life and all that I've been able to experience quite like this before.  This day was a day to show Chad the pieces and parts of Barcelona that were mine...if only for a little while. 

Our little neighborhood eatery Lalola..

Chads yummy baguette pizza

And I just couldn't help ordering the same exact thing I used to get back in the day.. Spaghetti Carbonara

It's like NOTHING has changed.. ONE BIT... IN TEN YEARS!! 

Walking up to our old apartment..

Chad testing out the phone that I used to use to call home :)

Jenn and I at the corner of our old street..

There was a flicker of a thought and a longing to follow a few people into the building...but we didn't.. boo. 

After taking about a BILLION photos in front of our building (I'm sure people passing by thought we were nuts), we caught a cab up to our next stop:  Park Guell... another Gaudi masterpiece.  And our nice cab driver even took us to the TOP entrance, verses the bottom, in order to easily make our way down through the park.  What a nice guy.  ;) 

Time for a pit stop. 

Someone looks tired..

Gotta love the butt grab by that girl in the bottom of the picture.. lol!

Surfin' Gaudi's wave.. ;)

How do you even BEGIN to construct columns like THESE?!?!

Jenn called them swizzle sticks.. :)

Down at the bottom entrance into Park Guell

Little Gingerbread House

Not sure what this little inset was originally used for but we had fun taking pictures in it.  :)

So long Park Guell, until we meet again...

Church of Tibidabo, the highest point in Barcelona :)

Panoramic Views :)

Communications Tower

As if you couldn't get any higher, Jenn, Brent and I decide to take a little ride to the TIP TOP in...

It was a teeny tiny little basket that went up like a ferris wheel..

Off we go!

I was too busy bracing for dear life to really tell what I was taking pictures of... :)

Almost higher than the Church itself!

Nervous, happy smiles :)

Hasta la vista Tibidabo! 

Next Up:  Siesta time & VERY tasty dinner at Comerc 24 :)  Stay Tuned!