Yesterday night I was invited by Guillermo, the owner of La Boqueria, to take part to a private dining event with the best clients of the restaurant, together with their chef Sergi Arola. I was very pleased to come back to La Boqueria for dinner and, above all, glad as not always you get the chance to have dinner seated at the same table with a 2 Michelin stars chef presenting his dishes.
As always, at La Boqueria, the atmosphere was warm and sophisticated. It was lovely for once to get there when the sun was still up and the interiors with day lights are impressive as well as in the night.
I got to meet the bubbling other guests during the aperitif time and then we were accompanied to our table. We started with some “tapas” to share – ceviche, tartare and carpaccio. The tartare was initially taken at the table “to prepare” and we admired the chef composing it: it was one of the best tartare I have ever had. While normally onion, mustard and other spices tend to numb the taste of the meat, in this case the meat itself was the fierce leading role of the plat. I also love the “presa iberica” carpaccio – to me it resembled very much a sausage from the south of Italy, spicy, intense, embracing.
A jubilation of tastes that was cleared in the mouth by the last entrée – a fresh and acid ceviche that was melting in a persistent – but pleasant – aftertaste of cilantro. It was just the brilliant start.
We were then driven through the road of this typical but eccentric cuisine by some fried features: single and unforgettable patata brava and croquetas. Consign to oblivion frozen pans and finger food: I cut the croquetas with my fork and knife and I tasted every smaller bite for an endless time. A perfect, crunchy and dry breading, accompanied by an almost liquid, hot filling. The potatoes, similar to the one I had already at the tapas bar months ago, but filled with hot spicy tomato, well hidden under the sassy topping.
It could have been already a satisfactory dinner till that point, but it was not over.
We still had a tender monkfish – the delicious lobster texture combined with green al dente vegetables and a heavenly sauce (where is the spoon when you need it!) followed by the most amazing dish of the night to me – beef filet with these truffle potatoes – another world, a world of soft sensations, explosions of tastes and unique combinations.
The dinner was concluded by a Crème Catalana – as you probably know I am not much into desserts, this time one would have not been enough – a cloud of sweetness, a surprising discover layer after layer, a summer storm, a goodbye kiss to departing lover at a foggy station. The perfect way to conclude our celebration.
What more to say? Our dinner was accompanied by delightful wines, the chef was able to guide us without being boring, accompanying technical details with anecdotes, laughs and toasts. The night was too short to contain it – it was an amazing experience and I was happy to have shared it with people who were totally strangers at the beginning but ended up being funny road pals through this flavours journey.
After this delicious meal, I cannot wait to visit La Boqueria again!