2009 in Boobs4Food Eats: Comerç 24
Our next stop back into 2009 Eats with Boob4Food brings us to Barcelona, Spain. I realize this is another European meal, and maybe it has to do with the relaxation of being on vacation, seizing the opportunity to indulge in a city’s best food, and the feeling of not having a care in the immediate future, but I assure you, we had bites that have no business being in this post, and other great meals will end up being excluded too. Not having the foresight to attempt a reservation at elBulli as soon as it was possible, we decided on a worthy substitute – Comerç 24 from Carles Abellan, formerly of elBulli.
We showed up a day early for our reservation unknowingly, but they were able to seat us in direct view of the kitchen anyway. It started with a tasting of olive oils, each more intense than the previous, followed by an eight course meal that was really more like twenty. We had monkfish with chinese garlic, sesame, and seaweed, the marinated sardines with wasabi root, toasted breadcrumbs and pistachios, spherical black truffle, parmesan, and quail egg in consomme, and the kinder egg (poached chicken egg with truffle and mashed potato) – all of which were outstanding.
The sirloin with strawberries, cherries, and sheep’s milk cheese was fantastic, but the best dish of the night for me may have been the duck rice with foie gras ice cream and crushed, toasted corn. The rice, incredibly infused with the flavor of duck with a not-quite-risotto mouthfeel, combined with the rich foie gras cream to create a salty and smooth bite, and the toasted corn provided another dimension to the dish. Olive oil continued to be a showstopper for dessert as chocolate ganache floated in a shallow pool of it alongside bread then dusted with sea salt.
With prime view of the kitchen at work, it felt like we were in dinner theater. Everyone was focused on the task at hand, furiously working, and completely in sync with each other, while we added all the commentary in the balcony. The dining room wasn’t the warmest of environments, but nearly every dish was a gastronomical delight.
Carrer del Comerç, 24