Monday, March 12, 2012

Ca L'Isidre, old world charm in Barcelona

 One of my all time favorite restaurants in Barcelona is Ca L'Isidre!  It opened its doors in 1970 and is well known for their formal Catalonian fare. We have been coming here ever since our first trip to Spain back in 2003.  We are in good company, it is a favorite of King Juan Carlos.  It has the old world charm that has been lost in so many places, it's small and intimate.  The menu cover above is a piece of art in itself.  In fact there is an original Miro on the wall along with other beautiful paintings. 
It was on our first visit that we struck up a friendship with Pep.  His presence makes the meal so much more enjoyable with his knowledge of the local cuisine, what seasonal dish we would like, what sherry or wine or brandy would go well with what we were ordering.  A true man to his profession!

Compliments of the house, we had a healthy shot of Gazpacho.  Pep shared with me the chefs secret to its creaminess but my lips are sealed.  Doesn't mean that I won't altar my recipe with this new found knowledge.
Fine tuning the art of making croquettes is a talent.  And this kitchen has it down pat.  Light and creamy, they just melt in your mouth.
With our first course, we started with a very unusual bottle of cava.  A very limited release, it is no wonder that is has hints of sherry to it, it comes from the Jerez region known for its sherry.
The first course that I dream about over and over is the Block of Foie sprinkled with flaky pieces of sea salt.  Heavenly!
Len ordered one of my favorite Spanish wines to go with our entrees.  A 2006 Alion from the Ribera del Duero region.   A beautiful full bodied Tempranillo with spicy berry overtones.  A wine that is also Placido Domingo's favorite.
For my entree, I had roast baby goat with small pearl onions.  The "cabrit" was beautifully roasted and was so flavorful.
Every time we have been here, we have been tempted to try the Peus d porc farcits d ceps i tofona, a pigs foot (trotter) stuffed with porcini mushrooms, truffles and duck liver.   Len was the daring one that evening.  It was very tasty but a little of it went a long way.  Very rich and the gelatinous texture was a bit too much.
For dessert we had a glass of Pedro Ximenez, a syrupy dessert wine that Pep had introduced us to the first time we had met.  It has a rich raisiny taste to it.  I love it!

I love the Goose Berries that are served at the end of the meal.  The berry is dipped into caramelized sugar to give it that little crunch when biting into it.
What a lovely meal.  We were the last ones to leave.  Pep called us a cab, we said our goodbyes and off we went back to the hotel.  We can't wait to return.  It's a bit pricy,so it is a good thing that we are only in Barcelona every two years.

Ca L'Isidre
Les Flores 12
Tel 93 441 11 39  

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