Sopa de tomate con mariscos y caldo de su cocción
Carles Gaig
Country: Spain
City: 08011 Barcelona
Address: Aragón, 214
(+34) 934291017
Closed: Sundays and Easter week
Price: 100/130 €
Tasting menu:: 77 and 96 €

Carles is faithful to himself and to the professional he has always been. He reaffirms his style and his skills reinventing himself. And we say “reinventing himself” because recently, except for Gaig’s classics, he substantially changed the menu but without changing the sensations at all. The concepts of the same recipes are reversed, the combinations between known elements are altered, giving birth to different dishes with consecrated timeless flavours. Dishes that turn to be better than ever, because they evolve, refine and improve to reach perfection. There is always a step forward, new nuances and forms, that express a clear message. We are in presence of a fantastic classic chef who is able to revitalize himself with intelligence and subtlety.
This was the best of our 16 annual visits to this very noble and Catalan house. The tomato soup with seafood (mussels, cockles and razor-shells), reinforced by their cooking broth, was unbeatable regarding refinement, freshness and nobility. The truffled cod brandada (raw stripes), as chewy as rillettes, is synonymous with impeccable and sumptuous rusticity. The risottos always deserve to be labelled “anthological”: the “dirty” squid Carnaroli risotto with soft garlic mayonnaise is a magic palatal balance, as the cereal is perfectly and deliciously impregnated. The amanita caesarea in its juice is another amazing essential proposal. So is the iridescent and extremely juicy cod, served with a daring brunoise of caramelized onion swimming in rice starch and potatoes. More than three elements in a single construction is a lot: the veal sweetbread with mustard sauce and small glazed tubercules is simply anthological. To cap it all, we finished with the latest version of the Catalan pudding, which offers a new “volatility”, a new delicacy.
Some immortal dishes invite you to meet again, such as the sea bass and prawn tartare with herring caviar; exquisiteness and naturality in all their splendor. Another unique dish whose success gets lost in time and whose recipe is constantly being revised in order to obtain the ideal al dente texture and an utterly pure flavour, is the Bomba rice from Delta del Ebro served with pigeon and boletus edulis. Other emblematic reference: the traditional cannelloni, reinforced by the priceless and majestic aromas of black truffle. The chef’s savoir-faire is expressed again through the greedy cap-i-pota (veal head and feet), accompanied by tripe a la catalana, a highly refined popular stew.