elBulli - 3 Michelin Stars
This is an old one from 2009, but it's good to look back sometimes, especially when the restaurant is no more. This review is from the world renowned elBulli which closed in 2011 and was run by the famous Catalan chef Ferran Adriá.
The restaurant was around 7 km outside the town of Roses on the Costa Brava coast.
You will spend a hair raising taxi drive along the coast road before getting to the restaurant which sits alone above the small bay of Cala Montjoi in an old Catalan finca.
Looking across to Cala Monjoi
The real elBulli.............
Chefs at work in the kitchen. There were 70 staff for 54 customers.
Below are some of the items from the 37 course tasting menu, which everyone in the restaurant is obliged to have.
Crunchy Rabbit Ear
Black Sesame Sponge Cake with Miso
Balsamic Seed & Basil Infusion
Oyster Leaf with Dew Vinegar
Soya Milk with Soya
Mushroom-CRU with Hazelnut
Pumpkin & Almond Sandwich
Sea Anemone with Te
Razor Clam with Seaweed
Cockles & Foie
Suckling Pig Tail
Milk with Gold Leaf
The Menu from the day
Food menu of 37 courses
Looking across to Cala Montjoi
Cala Montjoi looking up at elBulli
The restaurant had a limited season: the 2010 season, for example, ran from June 15 to December 20. Bookings for the next year were taken on a single day after the closing of the current season. It accommodated only 8,000 diners a season, but got more than two million requests. The average cost of a meal was €250. The price that evening, with wine, was €375pp.
The restaurant itself operated at a loss since 2000, with operating profit coming from elBulli-related books and lectures by Adrià. As of April 2008, the restaurant employed 42 chefs.
Restaurant Magazine judged elBulli to be Number One on its Top 50 list of the world's best restaurants for a record five times—in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Probably an experience never to be repeated.