Alkimia, Barcelona, Spain (1* Michelin)
One of our upscale lunches was at Alkimia. Alkimia is walking distance from Gaudi’s awe inspiring masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia, which we have visited prior to having lunch here.
Alkimia is a modern and sleek restaurant that almost like a fancy art gallery staging for the beautiful food that will be presented. This is a 1* Michelin restaurant led by Chef Jordi Vilà whose modern Catalan cooking that looks minimalist but it tastes so much more than meets the eyes.
We opted for the lunch prix fixe (64,00€) and consider the possibility of adding a course if we still feel hungry. The meal started with starters of spiced crisp topped with macadamia nuts, served with glasses of a young, blackberry fruit forward 2012 Palacios Remondo Rioja La Vendimia and a young, fresh, aromatic 2012 Menganito Verdejo.
Their amuse of pa amb tomàquet (or pan con tomate in Spanish) is a drinkable version of the bread rubbed with tomato. Presented in a shot glass filled with filtered tomato water, fruity Spanish olive oil suspended with fine crumbs of toasted bread, and a thin slice of delicately spiced lloganissa salami.
When the large bread tray was floating around, we had options of their housemade dried fruit and nut bread and rustic white. Both were well made bread – chewy, toothsome and have lots of flavor. Our first course of fresh marinated white sardines (boquerones) were the most exquisite ones I’ve had this entire trip. Silky, extremely fresh sardines that was marinated enough to have the bracing acidity to contrast the creamy fresh cheese curds and avocado. The smooth, refreshing scoop of cucumber cleansed the palate.
The stuffed romaine lettuce leaf with minced pork wrapped in pig ears was the most creative use of offal. That particular packet was luscious from the almost melting textured pig’s ears, crunchy bite from the lettuce leaf and earthy sweetness of the pork. The mushroom, pepper and saffron risotto was perfectly executed and it reflected the delicate earthiness of the offal portion of the dish.
The poached cod with cauliflower purée and dots of braised kale was a very delicately flavored dish. The purée saved the dish from becoming tasting too flat and the cod was cooked perfectly and flaky.
The Ibérica beef served with pumpkin “kimchi” was good and showed restraint on the flavors. Thin, tender slices of seared, medium-rare beef neatly wrapped in a log shape that tasted simply of salt and pepper to let the subtle beef flavor shine. The pumpkin “kimchi” were long ribbons of pumpkin lightly pickled and a delicate, spicy nest of saffron.
Our dessert was pineapple cream, ginger sorbet and lemon curd. Refreshing, creamy, and delicious with a flavor of the tropics.
I surprised my friend by informing the restaurant we’re celebrating a birthday and was presented with a slice of luscious boca de negra cake. It’s so decadent that it’s practically a bittersweet chocolate ganache.
There were petit fours of passion fruit ice cream bonbons enrobed with white chocolate and rounds of Catalan style cake studded with hazelnuts and lime zest, and shots of espresso to cap off our delightful meal.
It’s a very good, restorative lunch after walking through the sprawling Sagrada Familia. We continued our sightseeing by hiking up to another one of Gaudí’s creations, Parc Güell.
To view more photos of this meal, please view the slideshow below (or CLICK HERE for my photo set):