Eating in Barcelona: Part VI: Gelonch
July 09, 2014
It wasn't my intention to eat many upscale meals in Barcelona. It certainly wasn't my intention to eat two upscale meals on the same day. But, that's how the reservations panned out on this particular Friday.
After a wonderful lunch at Hisop, we spent the afternoon aimlessly wandering the city, walking it off. There's no better past time. We did a fly-by on Gelonch, the restaurant to which we'd be going for dinner, and took a look at the menu. The missus was not pleased to be staring at another tasting menu, but at least they offered two, one of which seemed to include a reasonable number of courses. We are not looking for any marathon meals while on vacation. However, eating the food of a chef who worked under Ferran Adrià was certainly appealing, multiple courses be damned.
This is a small, chef-run restaurant. There is an upstairs with seating, and that area is equally as small as the one on the first floor, which was probably 4 or 5 tables.
The shorter tasting menu consisted of ten courses, contrasted with the larger sixteen course menu. I've read that there's a Peruvian or Japanese influence at Gelonch, but I didn't sense this. It was just very good, interesting food.
Chef Gelonch does his thing in what is no doubt a tiny kitchen, which is hidden behind a door. When the food is ready, he opens a little hatch in that door, and places the dishes on the wee shelf for the server to pick up. Every time he dinged his bell and opened up the little door, he'd kind of look out. Perhaps he was taken with the missus. Either way it turned into a game with the missus trying to get his picture when he'd poke his face in the open hatch. The missus finally caught him.
Unfortunately this meal was about 100 meals ago at this point, and I didn't bother taking notes. I do recall a few specifics, and will try to present something at least slightly meaningful here.
Bloody hell I have no idea what this was! But it was some sort of crisp with something creamy. Not very meaningful, I know. Holy hanna I'm off to quite a start. Edit: per Gelonch's Facebook page, this is prawn crisp filled with cod brandade. So see, I was right!
This dish I do remember. It was constructed of onion. There was a spongy Black onion cake, topped with a creamy onion foam and some fried onion on top. Onion three ways in one bite. The texture of the sponge cake was really cool. An interesting dish, and, as it tuns out, memorable.
This was referred to as some sort of orange "popcorn." It was a liquid nitrogen deal, so the ingredients were transformed into this light, crunchy substance. Not our favorite, but interesting. I don't go much for the molecular gastronomy. One meal at Moto in Chicago was enough. I had no desire to eat my menu after I ate that menu, even if it tastes like Pad Thai.
More seppia! I love how they slice the cuttlefish into pasta-like shapes. I'd eat seppia cut in this manner in the place of pasta all day long. This was one of my favorite dishes in Barcelona.
Crab ravioli in a very rich and deep shiitake consume, with black pig. Friggin' gorgeous.
More prawn! Red prawn with Pisco, Chinese cabbage, and hibiscus. And some other things!
Black turnip with veal marrow, egg yolk and black truffle. Unfortunately plated on a very dark dish, and even more unfortunately photographed by me. I don't have to tell you that egg and black truffle could end wars, do I?
36 hour roasted black pig with mushrooms and root vegetables. Lots of textures. As good as you could imagine.
There was a dessert course or two, which we ate. This is all I can tell you.
Some chocolate was served with the check, and we asked to have it wrapped to take back to the hotel to enjoy with some good old fashioned American bourbon. It was presented to-go in a vacuum sealed bag. Pretty cool, and perfect in bed with bourbon I can tell you.
We really enjoyed our meal at Gelonch. While I forgot specifics on the dishes, one thing I do recall and can say with certainty is that the server and the Chef worked hard to create a wonderful and warm experience, filled with interesting tastes, textures, and ingredients.
Gelonch : c/ Bailèn, 56, 08009 Barcelona, Spain : +34 932 65 82 98