This morning we decided to do the Barri Gotic walking tour from our book Barcelona day by day. We walked two blocks to the Universitat subway station, switched lines at Urquinaona, and got off at Jaume I. We headed straight to La Catedral, but we decided not to pay the 12 Euros to go in. It was very pretty from the outside, though, and I’m certain it was just as lovely inside. I liked the Barri Gotic, more than La Rambla for sure. There were lots of tiny stone walkways lined with boutiques and restaurants, with a church, museum, or Roman ruin tucked here or there.
But the real thrill for the day was our 2 pm reservation for lunch at Cinc Sentits, the restaurant that I really wanted to try. The reviews all said that the chef created cutting-edge fusion food, which happens to be my favorite. I was smart enough this time to ask for a copy of the menu so here goes:
five spiced “Marcona” almonds
cantabrian anchovy and fig batons
house-marinated gordal olives
maple syrup, chilled cream, cava sabayon and rock salt
porcini cream and micro greens
PAN SEARED SCALLOP
sunchoke puree, onion escalivada reduction
IBERIAN PORK JOWL
green apple risotto, rosemary, pistachios
transparent gazpacho, fried bread
36 hour sous vide, carrot, beet, parsnip
pink peppercorn ice, pickled watermelon peel
APRICOTS FROM THE MARESME
chamomile ice cream, pistachio cake and streusel
My favorites from the tasting were the mushrooms and the pork jowl, but everything was delicious. In comparison to the meal at Hisop, I have to say I liked Hisop better because every single course was a hit. At Cinc, I was not a huge fan of the watermelon (though it could be said that was a “freebie” since it was really just a palate cleanser). I think the flavors at Hisop were just a little more supising too. I did love our meal at Cinc Sentits. The transparent gazpacho was so interesting because somehow the chef packed a lot of tomato flavor into a clear broth.
What would you do after a lunch like that? Siesta! We went back and had a nap, then got up to enjoy the cool evening with a walk around the posh shops along the Passieg de Gracia. We ended up at Velodromo, a new tapas bar that was recommended to us by our waiter at Cinc Sentits. Still full from lunch, we ordered 6 oysters and monkfish. I have to say that monkfish may have been the dark horse of the trip. I did not have high expectations because the place had a “bar” quality and I thought I would get “bar food.” But we asked the waitress what to order and she said monkfish and it was so tender and tasty.
We walked home in the beautiful cool air. Perhaps all of this wonderful food is curing me of my “attack reaction.” I felt happy and safe; even well cared for.