I never thought I would eat at elBulli – even before it closed last year, the reservations process was hit-or-miss to put it mildly, and dinner would require flying to Spain.
So when we sat down, I had a vague idea of what was to come (namely, 29 courses and some of the most classic elBulli dishes). Mostly, though, I was just excited, and eager to see how the experience would unfold. What would spherical olives taste like? Could I even eat 29 courses? Let’s find out…
#644 Hot/cold trout roe tempura (2000) – at first glance (and taste), reminded me of the PB&J from Next: Childhood; then the warmth of the tempura coating gave way to a mass of cool, exploding roe and a bit of cream. I was particularly enamored of the beautiful, handmade service piece – a sort of molded silver screen.
In the picture, you can see the shadow of the red rose that hung above our table and spun lazily in place.
#686 Civet of rabbit with hot apple jelly (2000) – lean and tender stewed rabbit in a wine sauce, served with two cubes of apple jelly. The plate was streaked on either side with a foie gras-enriched sauce and speckled with cocoa powder; I never would have considered chocolate with rabbit, but the slight bitterness added great depth of flavor. Alas, I was starting to get full, so regretfully watched a few unfinished bites go back to the kitchen. If you’re scoring at home, this is course 20.
And I was very happy.