Restaurants with three stars
Martín Berasategui’s embassy at the Condes de Barcelona hotel has become one of the essential restaurants not only in the city but in all of Catalonia and Spain, where people flock to marvel at the creativity of the chef. The sampling menu is a treat that everyone should have the chance to enjoy, at least once in a lifetime, and if possible, once a year. Such excellence has earned the Lasarte the top prize in the restaurant world, and as of November 2016 the restaurant is the first in Barcelona to boast three Michelin stars. In addition to Berasategui, the man responsible for the day-to-day operations is Italian chef Paolo Casagrande. His elegance and creativity are seen in dishes such as apple millefeuille, foie gras, and European eel, and the surprising aesthetic of the dishes never surpasses the combination of amazing flavours.
Jordi Cruz has won a third Michelin star for Àbac, confirming his restaurant once again as the essential haute cuisine establishment in Barcelona. He reached such heights by creating cuisine filled with expertise and sophistication. Take, for example, the egg with asparagus. Sounds simple enough, but Cruz has done a number on the egg that is something out of an R&D think tank. First the yolk is cooked at 62°C, then cured in salt water to give it just the exact subtle touch of salt. Served with white asparagus, a divinely thin slice of Serrano ham and a spoonful of caviar, it's nothing less than spectacular.
Restaurants with two stars
With El Bulli closed, what its former chefs Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas offer in Distrutar is pure techno-emotional cooking that's a reminder of the mothership. The dishes are incredibly imaginative and made with tremendous precision, such as, for example, the already famous macaroni à la carbonara made with ham jelly. Here you'll find an explosion of the senses carried out with the perfect speed.
This restaurant offers high-level cuisine, produced by the twins Javier and Sergio Torres, on the top floor of the hotel Melià Barcelona Sky. Very original cuisine with flavours from distant countries, including dishes like cream of Amazonian roots with sagu caviar. And they've got two very well-deserved Michelin stars to their name.
Raül Balam, son of Carme Ruscalleda, has earned his second Michelin star with this leading hotel restaurant. Like the original in Sant Pau, the concept is impeccable, innovative – but very Catalan – cuisine, with dishes such as the veal 'fricandó' (beef fillet with mushrooms) with Scotch bonnet mushrooms and the Maresme shrimp with glazed tomato petals, a vegetable medley and toasted pine nuts.
Chef Paco Pérez has earned two Michelin stars for his Enoteca – no longer is it just another restaurant in the Hotel Arts, but a heavyweight in Barcelona in its own right. Pérez also saw his Miramar restaurant in the Catalan city of Llançà get its second Michelin star. Few chefs can translate the flavour of the sea into haute cuisine the way he does, and his art speaks to the imagination and recalls the swell of the sea.
Restaurants with one star
For over 40 years they have been turning acts as simple as peeling an orange into culinary art. This is a location that any good gourmet worth his salt should know – their truffles are peerless, while the service sets the standard for Spanish haute cuisine. They've more recently updated their menu under the direction of young Basque chef Sergio Humada, a prodigy of imagination.
The Roca brothers have reinvented their Michelin-starred Barcelona restaurant. It used to be Moo, and now it's Roca Moo: with the kitchen now in the main room, chef Rafa Panatieri has fewer barriers between the cooking and serving spaces so he can finish dishes right at the table before your eyes. There's also a bar where you can see how they prepare the house specialities, which are their own interpretation of Catalan cooking. In addition to the menu, you can choose between two tasting menus with pairings: the Los Clásicos and the Joan Roca menu. And weekdays at lunchtime you can try their third tasting menu, the Menú Moo, for around €50.
A lovely space with an imaginative cuisine that stimulates all five senses (hence the name). You’ll be blown away by their range of superb, original dishes, such as their surf ’n’ turf platter with crispy pork cheeks, saffron alioli and grilled squid. Or try chef Jordi Artal's ember-roasted sweet potato. After being roasted for a full hour, it's then stuffed with the foam of its own pulp, herbal bread, and butter and hazelnut cream. In the centre are two quail eggs cooked for exactly 100 seconds. And finally, an injection of oaky smoke.
Albert Raurich creatively demonstrates the close links between Asian and Spanish tapas, and at such a high level of quality and innovation that it earned the restaurant its first Michelin star. Dos Palillos is a perfect fusion of a blue-collar bar and haute cuisine Asian restaurant, a place where there are no tables and where, if they don’t have the time, they’re not going to serve you wine. But consider this: part of the Michelin star is always based on service, so the fact that they still got one speaks volumes about their phenomenal Asian tapas.
It's an understatement to say their Michelin star is well-deserved. Everything on the menu is out of this world, but the stars of the show are the nigiris: they come directly from the hands of chef Hideki Matsuhisa, and arrive on your plate with no change in temperature. And they practically melt in your mouth. It's a ceremony where everything is done with precision and control: the cut of the fish, the amount of rice and the texture. An absolute must for any lover of Japanese cuisine.
The young chef Jordi Esteve’s style is based on quality and creativity, and underpinned with tradition. How about some scallops with truffle and fish foam? And save room for dessert, as Esteve's coconut-infused creations, which he came up with when looking for a dish that 'gives the feeling of sitting near a wood fire to stave off a winter's chill'. In more good news for everyone, there's also a menu for coeliacs. The award for his hard work is that Esteve has earned himself a Michelin star.
The Adrià brothers have triumphed again with this ambitious Barcelona-based round-up of their philosophy of tapas. With four different sections – seafood, the grill, sweet treats, and little inventive surprises – you'll get 'El Bulli' versions of all tapas from all over Spain. Squid in its ink with almond paste or grilled watermelon are just a couple examples. And the Tickets cocktail bar, 41, offers a nightly tasting menu which is as close as you'll get to El Bulli.
The eatery that Albert Adrià opened in Barcelona after Tickets and 41º is a 'Nikkei' restaurant – a cuisine that was born in Peru out of the mix of indigenous cooking and Japanese immigration. Adrià has run Nikkei cooking through his own filter to come up with surprising dishes, such as a fusion of maki and Peruvian 'causa' of smoked mackerel, or salmon nigiri with yellow capsicum sauce. In Czech, 'pakta' means 'together'. The creativity and excellence at Pakta was rewarded with a Michelin star in 2014.