Thursday, May 23, 2013

Oh Paris, your weather never disappoints me

It's just so predictably unpredictable! Our apartment rental agent told us that a friend of hers had to make a fire in her apartment yesterday. Ugh. It's cold. It's wet. But we're here!

There's so much I want to share, and I was hoping to post from the TGV yesterday, but there was no WiFi...? How can crappy Amtrak have WiFi and the TGV (which topped speeds of 320 km/hr yesterday) not?

Anyway, I am now way behind. Plus, the internet connection is less than stable here. But I'll keep at it! Btw, the apartment is just fantastic. It's palatial compared to where we were - so much space and so much natural light. Plus all the toiletries, kitchen gear, etc. one could ask for. Nice.

So on our last night in Barcelona, we had our splurge dinner at a place called Hisop. It was fantastic. But first, we had a get together with some Slow Travelers (an online travel forum I belong to) at their apartment in the Eixample. Jan & Dave are from the wilds of Minnesota, so like to spend their vacations in big cities. They're in Barcelona for over two weeks. Here we are with wine & snacks on their terrace.
And now...drum roll, please...onto the food porn.

Here's the menu.
Did I mention the menu's in English? We loved that we had never heard of many of the ingredients!

I'm going to post the courses one after the other. I think the word to describe the whole meal is delicate. I know that doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement, but when I think about cooking at home, we tend towards big, bold flavors most of the time. I'm a pretty good cook, but I don't think I could pull off this delicacy. It's challenging to leave what you have alone, and let the flavors shine through - plus, you have to have really fresh food, which I'm not convinced is 100% available to us home cooks. Here we go. We did the wine pairings, too. They were perfect, of course.

What the menu doesn't mention is that the wasabi encrusts a quail egg! Yum. Here's a before and after shot.

 Tom did a great job on the photos with no flash. We missed a pic of the palate cleanser, but here's dessert. Overall, a wonderful meal.
For those who have been leaving comments (both here and via email), thank you thank you thank you! It's nice to know you're reading and enjoying it.


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  2. I'm assuming this is the menu at Hisop; otherwise, your slow travel friends should open a restaurant! In any case, the food looks stunning. Their website is great, btw: how can you help but love a restaurant whose explicit philosophy is 'cooking to give joy.' And whose chef is, well, dazzling to boot.

    My splurge back in 2005 was lunch at Abac in El Born; it has since moved and now is also a hotel. I don't remember much, except that lunch was 3 hours and involved a lot of wine, and that I was a very happy man for the rest of that day.

    I'm guessing that you felt about the same after Hisop! and I hope you do as well in Paris as you have done in Barcelona.

  3. Yum! I've been following along and it looks like you guys are having a great time!!

    I'm definitely curious about the scotch bonnet and ginger! (No. 2 on the menu) sounds... hot! ;)

  4. Oh, Bill, three hours with a lot of wine sounds perfect! And we did feel that way about Hisop, except for the cranky babe in arms (not to mention his pre-teen brother and sister) some thoughtless Americans had dragged to a long, late dinner.
    Kate, we thought the exact same thing when we read the menu. Surprisingly, these Scotch Bonnets were mushrooms! Wikipedia tells me it's a fungus that grows extensively throughout North America and Europe. Who knew?

  5. YUM - great photos, Tom. Feel as if i'm eating over your shoulder. You are good travelers!!! bonne route