Disfrutar – A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona

Restaurant Disfrutar in Barcelona, Spain offers a truly unique gastronomic dining experience with their Mediterranean inspired tasting menu.

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.com


I thought Rick was going to kill me
. After a loooonnng day of walking around in Barcelona, we were both in that hangry stage. However, we had not quite mastered the eating times in Spain. It seemed like every time our stomachs started grumbling, we would look at our watches and realize that it was siesta time, with none of the plentiful restaurants in sight actually open.

With my WiFi sketchy at best, I was left to rely on a Google map that I had thrown together, with all of the restaurants I was hoping to check out marked. I had gathered these restaurants from Yelp reviews, recommendations from fellow bloggers, and television shows. However, I had forgotten to actually jot down notes about what the restaurants were all about.

In our quest to find food, and eat something… QUICK – I pulled up the map, and we walked to the nearest spot, hoping to find a restaurant that was open. That is when we stumbled upon Disfrutar.

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.com

The host greeted us at the door and started speaking in Spanish to us – All of which I could decipher was “Do you have a reservation?” I said that we did not and she said she would check with the kitchen about getting us in. When she returned, she said that “We do have a seat at the bar (something in Spanish), we are only serving (something in Spanish) menu, (something in Spanish, something in Spanish, something in Spanish), is that OK?” We just wanted something to eat – “Es Bien.” (I have no idea if that is how you say “That’s good” – But that was my answer) Obvious note: I should have studied the Rosetta Stone much more before our trip.

We took our seats at the sleek, modern bar, and that’s when the menu was placed in front of us. (Luckily it was in English) This was not going to be the quick tapas trip that we were hoping for. This was on a whole other level. “What have you gotten us into?,” Rick said. I scrunched up my face and said “Sorry! I had no idea…” We considered leaving right then.

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.com

It’s not that we don’t love a great restaurant, and a great tasting menu. We were just not in the state of mind to have this type of eating experience today. This is a story told through food. And we knew, we were going to be there for at least a couple hours. We were hoping to make a quick stop and then head out to catch the last hour of sunshine, taking in a few more of the sights. Normally, we would make reservations at least a week in advance, get dressed up, and starve ourselves for the entire day, in preparation for the dinner that was upon us. Today, I was starving (let’s be honest, I always am), but I was also dressed in a grey t-shirt, jeans, and running shoes. I felt a bit out of place.  But we sucked it up – And buckled in. And what a ride it was!

Open since December 2014, the restaurant Disfrutar (in English “Enjoy”) arose after years of intense work at elBulli, where chefs Mateu Casañas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch met and trained professionally. The tasting menu is daring, fun and modern with a markedly Mediterranean identity. Here is our food journey:

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.comThe Beet That Comes Out of the Land – Our server brought out this bowl of “dirt” and rose petals to us. After swirling the bowl around in her hands for a bit, these balls arose. Super light in texture and filled with air – She advised us to take it in one bite, which was very helpful. Otherwise, it would have crumbled all over the table!

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.comCrispy Bow with Iberian Bacon & Caramel-Coated Hazelnuts – An uber thin slice of crispy ham atop crispy noodles served alongside caramel coated hazelnuts (which were actually more of a hazelnut cream). The sweet and salty went nicely together.

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.comTomato “Palvoron” and Arbequina Caviaroli – This was not one of my favorite dishes of the night. Powdered tomato topped a mouse textured round of olive oil topped with fish roe. The powdered tomato was a bit dry, but delightfully tangy.

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.comTransparent Pesto Ravioli – Just look at that presentation. Delicate raviolis reminded me of those fancy tea bags that you sometimes find. Stunning.

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.com“Disfruta de la Aceituna” – Again, our waitress was helpful in letting us know how to eat this dish. “One bite.” The olives are actually liquefied inside and they explode in your mouth. Served with orange blossoms which we were told to suck the nectar out of. It was extremely floral with notes of citrus – A nice pairing with the rich olives.

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.comSmoked Idiazabal Cheese Biscuit with Apple – Light cheese biscuits. These worked well as a palate cleanser between courses.

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.comCrispy Egg Yolk with Mushroom Gelatin – A whole egg yolk, battered and fried on top of an egg shell filled with a mushroom gelatin. Very earthy, and once again, stunning presentation. The savory gelatin was a new one for me, and it is served chilled. It took a little getting used to, but grew on me.

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.comAerial Sandwich of Langoustine Cocktail – “Two bites.” What looks like a hearty sandwich, is actually lighter than air. The “roll” falls apart as you bite into it. A texture similar to a cross between cotton candy and sponge candy. The filling was a lovely piece of local langoustine. A bit like a crab roll.

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.comSalmon and Marinated Makerel with Cauliflower in Vinegar – I’d seen this dish passing by us all night and was super excited to try it – Sushi at its finest.

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.com Mushroom “Dumplings” – Transparent bundles of mushrooms and fresh herbs served in a steaming basket. Light, earthy and fragrant.

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.comOur Macaroni Carbonara – This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The noodles are actually transparent and shaped like ziti. Local ham and a light cream sauce coat them nicely.

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.comLiquid Salad – I was a bit nervous to try this one. Really, it tasted like a mashup between a green juice and a bloody mary, with perhaps some vinaigrette mixed in. I prefer to chew my salad…

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.comRed Mullet with Pork Jowls and Aubergine Gnocchi – The thin slices that top this dish are buttery pork jowls. And, the most amazing part of this dish? What appears to be an egg yolk is actually a sphere of liquefied corn. An amazing burst of flavor which is that of the freshest corn you have ever tasted.

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.com“Lemon Verbena” and Pineapple Sorbet with Coconut and Licorice – One of the prettiest dishes of the night, and one of my favorites taste wise. A beautiful coconut cream tops a tangy lemon sorbet that’s tinged with a hint of anise flavor. I may just have to try this one at home!

Disfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.comDisfrutar - A Gastronomic Eating Experience in Barcelona, Spain | platingsandpairings.comChocolate Peppers, oil and salt – Not what it appears. These “peppers” are actually made of a gelatin skin, that has the faint hint of spiciness and filled with a milk-chocolate ganache. Drizzled with olive oil and sea salt.

Start to finish, the service, food and presentation were all top notch. It was a truly unique dining experience and in the end, we were happy that we walked into the door of Disfrutar. I’d highly recommend checking them out if you are ever in Barcelona and looking for a meal that will not soon be forgotten!

Disclaimer: All of these pictures were taken with my iPhone, which gives you a sense of the dishes, but doesn’t quite do their beauty justice. I was not compensated for our dining experience and all opinions are my own.

12 comments

  1. Rachel Lloyd

    What a neat experience! I’ve never been to a restaurant like this before. I think the whole gastro thing kind of turned me off for some reason, but after reading your experience, I think I’d actually like it! ha. It sounds and looks amazing. What a neat experience for you!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      It was amazing Rachel – I don’t think you should be scared. I think you should go for it immediately! Start with Toro Bravo, their olives are very similar! (Just remember – One bite!!!)

      Reply

  2. Erin

    Wow! What a gorgeous meal. And that liquid salad?! I get where you’re saying that maybe it doesn’t work and better to chew your food, but unique idea nonetheless. What a great experience, even if it wasn’t planned! And hey, sometimes that is the best for travel experiences like this!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Totally agree Erin – Luckily we were both able to relax and enjoy the experience after the “Welcoming Cocktail!”

      Reply

  3. Pech

    I know it was a surprise to suddenly see you were going on a food journey for multiple courses instead of the quick bite and then back out to enjoy more sights, but how fun that you stuck it out anyway and adventured on (albeit gastronomically now).

    Reply

    1. Erin

      We are definitely happy for the experience Pech! Such an amazing memory!

      Reply

  4. Raz

    Food is the best travel experience 🙂 can’t wait to travel.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Here’s to hoping you get to take some fun trips in 2016 Raz!

      Reply

  5. Marlynn @ UrbanBlissLife

    WOW! What a culinary adventure! Every photo made me so excited about the dish, and then to read the description made me even more intrigued!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Marlynn – It was a really amazing food experience!

      Reply

  6. Becky

    Your pictures are UNBELIEVABLE. Can’t wait to see more!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks so much Becky – The food was so gorgeous and amamzing, it was easy to keep snapping pictures!

      Reply

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