Time To Eat Some Of The World’s Most Creative Food!
Time to share a culinary adventure we had at one of Barcelona’s best restaurants: the molecular palace known as Comerc 24!
Barcelona is an amazing city with amazing things to see…like the Sagrada Famiglia, the world-famous church that has been under construction for more than a hundred years…
And of course, these guys below are also from the amazing mind of Anton Gaudi, whose incredible art is all over Barcelona!
At nightfall, you can eat at the edge of the Mediterranean and watch as the city’s waterfront takes on a beautiful moody glow…
And of course, as we were about to learn, NOBODY eats dinner in Barcelona before 9p – so it was after a long day of tourism that we made out way to the legendary restaurant: Comerc 24!
It begins as the sun is setting, and the narrow alleys of the old town feel more deserted….
And we come across Comerc – um, or did we: Is THIS Comerc?
Well, it may have said “Comerc”, but for some reason this seemed to be a smaller, more casual tapas bar instead….the menu looked interesting…
We quickly realized we were at one of Barcelona’s many “hole in the wall” bars that dot the city’s narrow streets…and as colorful as the menu was, the actual entrance to the “real” Comerc24 restaurant is much less “colorful”…
But inside it is nothing BUT color! Welcome to the Michelin-starred world of Chef Carles Abellan!
Comerç 24 restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star in 2014. Chef Carles Abellan is the protégé of legendary chef Ferran Adriá of El Bulli – considered the wildest molecular restaurant in the world, although it is now closed…
Chef Abellan worked with Adria for nine years: Carles Abellán now has his own Michelin star at the praised restaurant Comerc 24 in the heart of Barcelona’s old city.
So, excited to dive into this molecular meal, Alex and I show up right at 830p – which is our reservation time – and of course they are still racing around getting ready for service!
Since of course, in Spain NOBODY eats before 9p!
Even though we were the “early birds”, they quickly seated us and showed us a menu, which is unnecessary since we would do the entire tasting menu, which begins with what they call:
It begins simply, with a glass of spanish cava, their champagne, and then a clear mushroom broth, to help the palate cleanse itself for what is to come…
The first “snack” was a plate of pickled cauliflower, which went very well with the cava, and then we were served a plate of slivered monkfish…
This delicate monkfish was wrapped with black garlic and mushrooms, and we each had three delicious slices before we were served our next dish:
Lemon Cannoli Roll With Basil!
This knocked our socks off…delicious lemon custard inside a crunchy cannoli roll – and since these are “snacks”, you can see that Alex’s dish has the cannoli roll alongside, yes, a pizza!
Comerc24’s version of “pizza” is a slice of raw tuna atop a crunchy wafer – followed by the most unique “sushi” dish I’ve ever had!
Sponge – yes, SPONGE! Sushi!
This sushi dish consisted of an edible sponge with unique seasonings, presented as sushi…another wildly creative molecular presentation, which we needed to consume with some great spanish white wine…
“Can freixes” is a crisp spanish white wine, which went perfectly with the food – the service, by the way, was friendly and fun, without the stuffiness that can accompany a tasting menu.
And did you hear me when I said those were the “snacks?” So, you can see Alex is a bit confused by what shows up next!
The Real Tasting Begins!
Yes, after our multi-course “snacks”, they start our real meal by bringing us a bowl that is filled with dry ice….
This dish is called “Dry ice oyster” – a fresh oyster that comes bedded in dry ice and wrapped in flowers, and it comes served side by side with:
Shrimp with gazpacho sorbet!
Yes, these are beautiful shrimp that have a intense gazpacho sorbet – this “one-two” punch of flavor is followed by another seafood dish:
This is “Dashi” soup with cockles in gelatin balls…so the cockles, a spanish clam, are embedded in a gelatin ball..rich and savory, but light and refreshing as well…and a perfect taste of the sea…
Next up are marinated sardines with orange and grain topped with micro greens…while we are eating this I notice that the music in the restaurant is Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On…”
And they “get it on” by bringing the largest bread platter I’ve ever seen!
That’s right, they come out with three HUGE loaves of freshly baked bread, which they carve up based on how much you want….and as you can see, they love the presentation too!
Then it’s back to the food – and since we are in Spain, the restaurant embraces their culture by serving us a classic Spanish dish:
“Migas” is a traditional dish in Spanish cuisine. According to wikipedia, it was originally a breakfast dish that made use of leftover bread or tortas, and includes day-old bread soaked in water, garlic, paprika, and olive oil, and contains spinach, served with pan-fried pork ribs.
Commerce’s version of Migas was traditional bread toasted with mushroom broth and served over a poached egg…and it comes in an amazing serving dish:
It was a great “peasant” dish – and so incredibly rich…and then the next dish was a tuna tartar tower, served Comerc24 style:
The Chef’s tuna tartar is clean richly flavored, and it comes topped with an egg yolk vinaigrette and salmon roe…
More Mediterranean Seafood!
Next up are fresh razor clams, which are cooked AS spaghetti with a beautiful white sauce…every dish more delicious than the one before…
Cut “The Rock!”
Time for a small tuna sashimi pizza, followed by a dish that arrives in a covered rock!
Yes, you next course arrives as a rock, and then they lift the top of the rock off and replace it with an egg custard served in its shell and topped with truffles…smooth and silky rich…
We continued on with more unique meat dishes, like:
“Duck Rice With Foie Gras!”
I love the flavor of duck, I love rice, and don’t get me started on foie gras…the duck is intensely rich as is the foie, but the rice offers a nuttiness lightness that keeps the entire dish balanced – and each dish is small enough that we aren’t full – and savoring every bite!
Time for the red wine – another great spanish wine called Pagos Viejos…
Next up was another clear broth to cleanse the palate before we moved on to another dish:
It’s a delicate white fish with onion vinaigrette…delicious and moist fish with a tangy vinaigrette that makes the fish pop with flavor…
The fish came with a nice side dish: a roasted potato cauliflower…
One More Meat Dish!
Now we are headed into the home stretch: the next dish is baby pork glazed in a red wine vinaigrette…rich and savory, a perfect finale to the protein courses…and we are just about done…
I’m Stunned By The Cheese!
So of course, next is a crazy cheese tray! And yes, we had to take a picture of my reaction to the amazing array of cheeses….
There are 23 cheeses on this cheese plate – and they take you through all of them and you choose what sounds good to you…as I said before, their service is terrific, and they are friendly, fun and helpful…
Time To Head To Outer Space!
After the cheese it’s time for a tray of desserts…and what a tray is was!
This collection of “outer space” desserts were full of flavor was not heavy – especially after the meal we just had…and there was only one more thing to do…
We ended with a drink back at our hotel!
What a meal! What a night! Almost three hours of incredible molecular cooking, so kudos to the entire kitchen team at Comerc 24!
And that was just one of our culinary adventures…see all the pics from Barcelona’s Boqueira food market!
And if you want some of the greatest tapas in the world, you have to go here:
Read all about the famous Cal Pep by clicking here:
And yes, there are other restaurants who think that THEY have the best tapas in Barcelona!
You can read all about our meal there buy clicking here:
Enjoy some of our food adventures in Spain and let me know what you think!