There would have been a 3rd party in the cozy little restaurant, but after briefly looking at the menu, 2 ladies dressed in posh dresses got up and left. I felt sorry for the potential diners because they were missing out on really excellent food. That pity quickly turned into frustration because they refused to give the restaurant a chance. There was even an a la carte tapas menu for them to test the waters. I got even more frustrated when I learned that Gelonch does not lay claim to any Michelin stars. The food we were served at Gelonch was astronomically better than the 3-star Akelarre and definitely better than the world-renowned 2-star Mugaritz.
Not only was Gelonch better than a 3 and 2-star Michelin, but it was better than every 1-star Michelin I’ve ever been to except for Schwa and Blackbird here in Chicago (not counting DiverXO because shortly after dining there they deservedly were awarded their 2nd star). Interestingly enough, Gelonch felt like the Catalan version of Blackbird: somewhat global flavors rooted in the regional cuisine with a sprinkling of modern techniques when appropriate. If you’re ever in Barcelona, take the cook’s advice and get yourself to Gelonch.
Strawberry gazpacho with its air
Grilled iberian pancetta, roasted scallop, peanut tabouli, crunchy prawn, and coriander cream
Wagyu beef carpaccio, honey breadcrumbs, beech smoke, grilled rocket leaves
Tuna toro slice on a cracker with olives, cheery tomatoes, and oil foam
Cuttlefish taglierini with deconstructed pesto: parmiggiano whey, basil oil, garlic chips
Quail eggs, grilled baby squid, anemones, asparagus, baked garlic cream, and chorizo breadcrumbs
Codfish loin with morels
Wagyu beef 40 hour stew, beet lactose, and salsify in watercress
Suckling pig 24 hours sous vide, sunchoke cream, cashews, and croissant
Assorted fruit cocktails: orange Campari, apple Grey Goose, watermelon gin tonic, pineapple-coconut rum
Balearic Islands: sobrasada air cake, ensaimada ice cream, cheese cream, and Soller tangerine coulis
Summer truffle ganache, matcha tea cake, chocolate ice cream, and caramelized pistachio