Saturday 3 August 2013

Les Magnòlies, Arbúcies Spain.

Les Magnòlies is in the town of Arbúcies in the province of Girona. I had booked us in on our first night staying in Girona, then I found out it was absolutely miles away and would be expensive to get to in a taxi. However, I'd already set my heart on eating there, I had a good feeling that the food was going to be excellent, and so it turned out to be. Its quite recently been awarded a Michelin star, and for me these sort of restaurants often excite me more than those that have had a star or two for years, they often represent much better value too. We'd eaten at 3 three Michelin starred Sant Pau a day or two previously and were sadly disappointed. It had no real wow factor for us.
We drove down to Les Magnòlies from our hotel in Palafrugell.  I'm glad we managed to revive our ailing sat nav as it would have been quite tricky to get to, through winding roads and around mountains. This was proper Spain, that foreign tourists rarely visit. It was a bit of a manic drive, why is it that when you're in a rush you always get stuck behind a slow moving tractor? We finally arrived. It would be totally worth it.
It's quite impressive when you arrive to a grand nineteenth century building. It's impressive and elegant inside and has been recently renovated.
There are two taster menus: one for €42 and the other €68. I think you may guess which we went for if you've read any of my other posts! The menu is all in Catalan, sadly I don't have a translation. Our welcome cocktail (Còctel de benvinguda) was excellent, it had that hot and cold sensation which really worked.
Next, the Olives gelades like a frozen olive sorbet were superb and the presentation was beautiful and immaculate.

Coca de recapte.
Next one of my favourite dishes of the year Royal de foie, an amazing gooey combination of earthy mushrooms and foie. Quite simply divine.
Gioza al vapor amb Porros Nachos Aletes de pollastre amb hoisin (Chicken cooked over rosemary) This was fun.
Careta de porc amb verd. A meaty ravioli.
Brioix fet a casa amb un oli del Montseny. A type of fideua, a local noodle dish.

Bacallà amb pebrots del piquillo i formatge. A fake 'hot dog'. It's actually smoked salmon.
 Sardines amb all blanc i all negre i fruita caramelitzada (Sardines in ajo blanco.) Very good this one.
Castanyons amb albergínia blanca d’Arbúcies.
Ous de pagès amb crema de bolets i pebrots del Padron
Vieira amb sopa de tomàquet, remolatxa i gelat de gingebre (Scallops and ginger ice cream) Simply stunning, pretty too.
Peix de llotja de Blanes amb safrà
La carn que rostim avui (Pork) Very dense in texture, a slight disappointment this dish for us.

Formatge artesà amb melmelada casolana. A beautiful rich goats cheese with home made jams.
Còctel refrescant. Simply beautiful. A gorgeous cocktail served on a bed of ice.
Les tapes dolces
Empanadilles -Arròs amb llet - Tall de cereals - Cookies - Nùvol.

The food was remarkably good, inventive, creative, beautiful and most importantly they had captured that flavour intensity, that addictive hit that we're looking for in Michelin star restaurants like this one. It was one of our top 5 meals of the year (currently), and it's definitely worth that special journey. Bravo!
Price: Excellent value. Approximately £60 for food of this standard is amazing.
Service: Good. They speak very little English though.
Atmosphere: Smart but not too formal.
Food: Simply the best One Michelin starred restaurant we've ever been to.
Star dish: Royal de foie.

Score: 9/10.

Head chef Victor Trochi won “The Best Restaurant Dessert award in 2011.

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