Spain-giving 2014: An Amazing 23-Course Meal At El Celler De Can Roca

Spain-giving 2014: An Amazing 23-Course Meal At El Celler De Can Roca

***This is part 6 of my “Spain-giving 2014” trip report detailing a recent trip to Barcelona over Thanksgiving weekend***

1. American Express Centurion Lounge at SFO
2. Korean Air Lounge at LAX
3. KLM Business Class Los Angeles to Barcelona, via Amsterdam
4. Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona
5. Exploring Barcelona in a Motorcycle Sidecar
6. Day trip to Girona for Lunch at El Celler De Can Roca
7. Sala VIP Lounge at BCN, KLM Crown Lounge at AMS
8. KLM Business Class Barcelona to San Francisco, via Amsterdam
____________________________________________

The day had finally arrived – we were off to Girona to dine at El Celler de Can Roca, the current #2, and former #1, restaurant in the world according to San Pellegrino’s list of World’s Best Restaurants.

But I’d be lying if I told you that eating here was the entire reason we had come to Barcelona. The whole impetus for the trip was to mileage run and retain my Alaska Airlines elite status. I guess we turned the trip into more of a “vacation run” since we ended up spending 2 nights, rather than simply flying there and back.

In fact, we didn’t even have reservations until the day before, when we were luckily called up from the waiting list where we had been anxiously sitting for months. El Celler de Can Roca is located in Girona which is roughly an hour-long train ride from Barcelona. There are varying speeds of trains, and I think ours was somewhere in the middle of all the options – not too fast, not too slow.

renfe train to girona

The train systems in Europe are great, and it was a comfortable ride that took us through the Spanish countryside.

renfe train

renfe train girona stop

We had budgeted time before lunch to walk around Old Town Girona, and boy, we’re glad that we did. It was absolutely spectacular, and we loved walking along the fort walls which provided unobstructed views of the entire city.

girona fort wall views

girona fort wall views 2

Throughout the walk along the fort walls, there were staircases which led up to even higher vantage points.

girona fort wall staircase

The walk took us all the way to the other end of Old Town to the Girona Cathedral.

girona cathedral

We began making our way to the restaurant, and rather than taking a taxi, we decided to walk. We soaked in the beautiful sights and sounds along the way.

girona water views

girona water views 2

We arrived at the restaurant and despite our leisurely pace and multiple cappuccino breaks, we were about a half hour early. We noticed a library across the street, and ducked in. This place ended up having the fastest wifi connection we found during our stay, and we easily passed the time checking email and surfing the interwebs.

Finally, it was time to eat, and we crossed the street back to the restaurant.

el celler de can roca reviews

We were greeted at the entrance and led to our table and must have been one of the first to arrive, since the restaurant was completely empty. The dining room only has about 10 tables, and they are organized in a triangular pattern around a glass-enclosed atrium. Since this was the end of November, all the leaves had fallen and were strewn across the atrium floor.

el celler de can roca reviews

el celler de can roca reviews

There were two tasting menus available, and we opted for the larger “Feast” menu along with the wine pairing.

el celler de can roca reviews

el celler de can roca reviews

Then the food started coming, and coming, and coming. While all of the dishes were excellent, there were a few that simply blew us away including veal slow-cooked for 72 hours, Iberian suckling pig, and mackerel cooked in an amazing white wine sauce. Every dish was expertly presented, and some were really fun and inventive, like sourdough ice cream presented on a beating heart. Service was impeccable throughout, and overall the meal simply couldn’t have been better.

Here’s a recap of the entire meal:

el celler de can roca reviews

Signature amuse bouche – caramelized olives hung from a small tree

el celler de can roca reviews

Taste of the world – Mexico, Turkey, China, Morocco

el celler de can roca reviews

Iberian sucking pig on crispy fried corn

el celler de can roca reviews

Pickled barnacles

el celler de can roca reviews

Carpano bonbon with grapefruit and black sesame

el celler de can roca reviews

Truffled bonbon

el celler de can roca reviews

Autumn vegetable stock

el celler de can roca reviews

Three flavor corn ice cream

el celler de can roca reviews

Shaved chestnuts and smoked eel

el celler de can roca reviews

Mackerel with pickles and mullet roe

el celler de can roca reviews

Prawn with vinegar

el celler de can roca reviews

Oyster with anemone

el celler de can roca reviews

Confit skate fish

el celler de can roca reviews

Sardine with pork jowl

el celler de can roca reviews

Iberian suckling pig

el celler de can roca reviews

Slow-cooked veal

el celler de can roca reviews

Pigeon “heart”

el celler de can roca reviews

Pigeon trilogy

el celler de can roca reviews

Sourdough ice cream

el celler de can roca reviews

Orange colorology

el celler de can roca reviews

Chocolate anarchy

el celler de can roca reviews

Dessert cart

el celler de can roca reviews

Petite fours

4 hours and 23 courses later we were done and could barely move by the time we waddled out of the restaurant. This was certainly one of the most memorable meals we’ve ever had, and we’re extremely fortunate to have gotten reservations on one of the two days that we’d be in town. For those of you that are interested, make sure to sign-up for the wait-list, since we actually had our pick of more than one opening within that 2-day window due to multiple cancellations.

4 Comments

  1. WOW EPIC

    Reply
  2. Can you please offer the price for lunch and for dinner?

    Reply
    • I don’t have the exact figures in my photos of the menu, but looking at the receipt it was roughly $250/person for the biggest tasting menu, and $100/person for wine pairing. Those figures include all tax and gratuity. I believe that lunch and dinner are the same price.

      Reply
  3. Wow! Just wow. Presentation looks better than our meal at Tickets in Barcelona. Great blog!

    Reply

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