Spain 2011 – A Compendium of Posts

2011 will always be remembered as the final year of elBulli, the restaurant.

With the recent posting of my experience at Cinc Sentits, I have finally completed my postings from the incredible trip to Catalunya, Valencia and The Basque Country areas of Spain that I took with my family last spring to celebrate my wife’s and my 25th Wedding Anniversary. To make it easier to check out the entirety of my postings, I have compiled them here in chronological order of when the events happened rather than when I posted them.

At Madrid Barajas Airport awaiting our connecting flight

Our trip to Spain got off on the wrong foot. As a result, my wife and son missed out on visiting Tickets.

Gresca's Egg Soufflé

We finally arrived on Monday afternoon. We met our son, Andrew, who was already in Barcelona studying Spanish, and had a fine meal at Gresca.

Breakfast at Bar Pinotxo in the Boqueria

Our report from Day 2 catalogues a visit to the Boqueria for breakfast at Pinotxo, a trip to the Parc Guell, lunch at Cinc Sentits and a opera/Flamenco concert at el Palau de Musica.

Returning Glasses of "Blood" to the Kitchen at elBulli

The single biggest day of our trip. Our son LJ flew in from college in the US and we rented a car and drove up to Cala Montjoi for our farewell to elBulli. My families impressions are here and my photos here. My  nephew Lucas flew in from Germany that evening and we had some excellent tapas at Tapas 24.

Fresh Fish at Mercado de Santa Caterina

Arroz with Esperdenyas at Can Jubany in Vic outside of Barcelona

On day 4, we checked out the Sanata Caterina Market then met our good friends the Codinas from nearby Manresa. We headed out of town for a nice late lunch at Can Jubany.

Paco Morales and his team at the Hotel Ferrero

On day 5 my wife and I left the kids in Barcelona and we went to celebrate the anniversary of our honeymoon at the beautiful Hotel Ferrero in Valencia. The hotel also happens to be the home of the restaurant Paco Morales led by one of the finest young chefs in Spain and therefore the world – Paco Morales.

The Celebration after Leo Messi's 50th Goal of the Season

We returned the next day to discover the catalan equivalent of Valentine’s Day. Since the next day was Easter Sunday and our son, L.J. had a very early flight back to the US, we cooked an Easter dinner at our apartment with an expertly deboned leg of lamb from El Mercado de Santa Caterina. The evening was topped off with a trip to the Camp Nou to watch Barça triumph again with Leo Messi scoring his 50th goal of the season directly in front of us.

The Colors of Tibidabo

Sundaywas bittersweet as we said goodbye to L.J. and later Lucas. We spent the day exploring the Sagrada Familia and the amusements of Tibidabo. Dinner was again cooked with produce from Barcelona’s fabulous markets.

Decanting a 1991 Pesquera Janus at Rekondo

On Monday, our anniversary celebration came to a close with my wife and our youngest son heading back home. I stayed on with Andrew to travel to the Basque Country for a few days. We had a lovely dinner that evening in San Sebastian at Rekondo, which included some real standout dishes.

The Quiet Streets of San Sebastian

The highlight of Tuesday was a drive to Axpe and a sensational lunch at Etxebarri. We returned to San Sebastian and explored with a disappointing evening of pintxos – disappointing only because most of the pintxos bars were closed.

Snouts at La Bretxa Market

Wednesday was a dining day for the ages with lunch at Mugaritz (Part 1 & Part 2) and then later that evening an unforgettable dinner at Arzak. In the meantime I explored San Sebastian and the wonderful La Bretxa Market.

Albert Adria at Tickets

Thursday was another dining day for the ages as we left San Sebastian for Bilbao with an awesome lunch at Josean Martinez Alija’s restaurant at the Guggenheim Museum. Andrew and I dropped off our rental car and flew back to a rainy Barcelona, where I finished my trip with a dream meal at Tickets.




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