Fine dining in Costa Brava, Spain
One of the most important ingredients of a successful travel is dining experience No matter whether you are a gourmand or a gourmet, a trencherman or an ascetic, a vegetarian or a vegan or cannot imagine your life without a succulent piece of beefsteak. We all like to indulge in a delicious meal at east from time to time and normally this ´time´ falls on a holiday because everything is permitted when on holiday.
Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain and Girona region where it is located are very well known for their top-notch restaurants and chefs of international fame that have distinguished themselves with at least one Michelin star. Situated to the northeast of Barcelona and spanning about 60 km from Blanes to France, Costa Brava has always been a place where gastronomy played a big part. Some of the villages and towns boast their own emblematic products that have gained international recognition and have become a quality label like L ´Escala anchovies, Palamos prawns, Roses monkfish, Begur rock fish, Figueres onion, Pals rice, Girona apples and many others.
Girona and Costa Brava feature more than 2500 restaurants many of which offer its diners local dishes based on the local products for any kind of wallet. Nowadays, this region has become a true culinary mecca attracting the most demanding gastronomes looking for some evocative dining and offers a wide range of Michelin-starred restaurants. In many cases they opt for the following iconic gastronomy spots.
Bo.Tic. Situated in the village of Corça, since 2007 the restaurant has been offering creatively prepared traditional Empordanese dishes like salt cod with white asparagus and red bell pepper, creamy mountain rice or egg of Catalan cream. The restaurant offers various menus of different size, from a small one to a real gastronomy indulgence, from more classical one to the most unexpected plus an author´s carte.
Els Tinars. Based on the traditional Catalan cuisine with the use of the seasonal products and innovative cooking techniques, the restaurant situated at the foothills of Gavarres and currently run by the third generation of the Gascons-Lloveres boasts o km bread and pastries prepared onsite. The winter kitchen protagonists are the morel mushrooms, black truffles and green peas. The place offers several types of menus and a card.
Fonda Xesc. Another spot offering haute cuisine in the area, marrying traditions with innovation, the menu of this restaurant includes about 20 dishes made of the local products as its chef says, “simply and unpretentiously cooked”. The offer includes such pearls as the special fonda rice with pigeon, oyster mushrooms and hazelnut, Blanes squid with tomato, pistachio and black olives and pig´s trotters, octopus, potato and Majorcan sauce.
Els Brancs. Located in Roses, the restaurant offers signature cuisine with the use of the high-quality local foods prepared in a simple way and fantastic views over the Roses bay. The place offers a la carte dishes and a tasting menu of 18 dishes the majority of ingredients for which come from the same Roses bay.
El Celler de Can Roca. Run by the brothers Roca, Joan, Josep and Jordi, the restaurant offers fine, avant-garde and imaginative cuisine. Probably one of the most known places of the culinary Girona, El Celler de Can Roca boasts a unique wine cellar and proposes sublime dishes marrying ingredients from all over the world to create a magical experience from the very beginning till the very end of the dinner.
Les Cols. A traditional country house in Olot offers not so traditional Catalan cuisine and praises the soil and the local foods including turnips, white beans, calçots and buckwheat. The place works only with seasonal products and has a special tasting menu for every season of the year with such gems as the frozen cottage cheese, sweet onion from Croscat volcano with cheese from mas Farró in bread crumbs and Garrotxa “caviar” made of white beans from Santa Pau.
Ca l´Enric. Situated in the heart of Garrotxa, in Vall de Bianya, with a modern interior, the restaurant focuses on the local products including mushrooms, river trout, eel, veal, herbs and others reinventing the traditional Catalan cuisine. Partridge salad with cabbage in marinade, beef tartar with nettle, herbs, wild mushrooms and flowers and rabbit with ratatouille and mushrooms are among the winter must-tries.
Miramar. Located in the town of Llança, Miramar is the creation of the renowned chef Paco Perez and his wife Montse Serra. Their avant-garde cuisine is based on the local traditions and products and offers such classical combinations as calçots with flat bread, tuna and sea-urchin, and more unexpected pigeon with 100 days mole and tomato-and-strawberry pie.
If you come to Girona area for a long time and get tired of going to the restaurants and or if you rent a luxury villa in Costa Brava and have a totally equipped state-of-the-art kitchen, you can get an unbelievable mouth-watering dining experience without going out. Just invite a private chef and enjoy his creative work in comfort of your house. The advantage is not only that you can avoid leaving your place but also that all the dishes can be agreed on in advance and changed if necessary so that all your party is satisfied. You will not suffer from the fact that you are allergic to some ingredient but without it the dish will not be the same. The chef will just change the dish following your requirements. Another good thing is that you will not have to look for a nanny for the kids as they can easily stay with you and also enjoy a kids meal version without you having to run after them in the restaurant.
And the last but not the least, apart from the restaurants listed above, there are quite some other awesome places offering brilliant creative and traditional menus very worthy of trying but all of them will never fit in one article. You might find your own secret spot that might be totally unpretentious but have incredible homey cuisine, then do not keep it to yourself, as the chef might become the next Michelin star.