For foodies hoping to nab a reservation at El Celler de Can Roca, the Spanish restaurant that was named the best restaurant in the world for 2013, bad news — the waiting list for a table is 12 months.
According to Bloomberg Muse food critic Richard Vines, who recently reviewed the restaurant, El Celler’s wait list since has grown from 10 months to a year since the award was announced in April, and there’s a backlog of 3,000 requests.
El Celler employs three people just to turn away eager diners, one of the three brothers who own the restaurant told Vines.
The restaurant, in Girona, Spain, has been serving modern Spanish cuisine since it opened in 1986. The Roca brothers, who run the critically-acclaimed establishment, split their duties between the kitchen and front of house.
Flickr user Encantadisimo was lucky enough to dine at El Celler in 2011 and again in 2013. He shared pictures of his most recent experience with Business Insider, where he and a companion shared the “Menú Degustació de Classics,” a seven-course tasting menu with the restaurant’s most beloved dishes.
With the wine pairing, the meal cost $248 per person.
The first round of appetizers was brought out under a paper globe advertised as 'biting the world.' It opens as a fan to reveal ...
... Five bite-sized apps inspired by countries around the world: Finland, Japan, Morocco, Peru, and Mexico.
Then an elaborate bonsai tree came to the table with hanging caramelized olives. Olives are a traditional way to start a Spanish meal.
Next up were the Carpano bonbons. They had a chocolate shell and a soft grapefruit and black sesame interior.
Next, a single spoon with a small artichoke omelette was delivered to the table. The photographer described it as 'creamy and very good.'
Black truffle brioche was served on a white perforated plate. It had a spongy texture and strong truffle flavour.
Black truffles were presented in a stone bowl with moss. They had a crunchy texture, and sublime earthy taste, according to the diner.
The bread tray was elaborate, with plenty of freshly baked options. The photographer was only disappointed that the breads were never replaced later on in the meal.
After all those appetizers, the first tasting menu course appeared. It was a house classic — apple timbal (a type of Catalan pastry) with foie gras and vanilla oil.
It was followed by potato parmentier topped with lobster and a mild chanterelle mushroom broth. This was one of the photographer's favourite courses.
Our diner deviated from the menu by requesting the octopus dish with sausage and peas instead of a second dessert. The octopus was tender, and the broth complemented the peas nicely.
Grilled prawns were served with air cake seawater, algae, and plankton on a stone plate for a unique presentation.
The grilled halibut came with five different sauces — fennel, bergamot, orange, pine nuts, and olive. The sauces were sophisticated, and the fennel and olive stood out in particular.
This was the cod with potato gnocchi that became a Catalan stew once a light broth was added at the table. This was the 'best item on the menu,' according to the photographer.
The Iberian suckling pig was another stand out from the meal, with a crispy skin and sweet taste inside. It was accompanied by melons and beets.
Since this diner substituted for the octopus course, the 'dessert lactic' was the only dessert of the meal. It's an extremely sweet combination of sweet milk, sheep's milk ice cream, sheep yogurt, and guava.
As they were finishing with coffee, a colourful cart of petits fours was brought around to the table.
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