Disfrutar (**)

Food: innovative modernist cuisine
Address: Carrer de Villarroel 163, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Phone Number: +34 93 348 68 96
Website: en.disfrutarbarcelona.com
Guide Michelin: 2 stars
What I paid: 258 € (Disfrutar tasting menu per person, including water and wine)
Visited: September 28, 2017

Disfrutar is for sure one of the most innovative restaurants existing. Maybe not that strange, given the three head chefs running the restaurant; Oriol Castro, Mateu Casañas and Eduard Xatruch. Oriol Castro is the former head chef at elBulli, a position he had for several years until its closure in 2011, with Casañas and Xatruch as his right hand men. Many famous chefs have made a stunt at elBulli, but those three alumni’s have spent most of their carriers there.

Restaurant Disfrutar is in the Eixample area of Barcelona, just in front of the Ninot Market.

Disfrutar (“enjoy”) opened its door in December 2014. Between this and the closure of elBulli, the three chefs have also opened another restaurant, called Compartir (“to share”) in Cadaqués. Compartir opened in April 2012 and I visited it July, 2013 (see here).

Inside dining room of Disfrutar

Disfrutar is not a copy of Compartir, but they share similarities. However, Disfrutar is much more innovative and the culinary offer orbits around the tasting menu, which is clearly avant-garde and innovative in its positioning.

There are three different menus to choose from (where two have different sizes):

  • Menus composed by dishes that have become classics
    • Classic – a 120 €
    • Gran Classic – a 150 €
  • Menus composed of mainly elaborations created during the current season
    • Festival – a 120 €
    • Gran Festival – a 150 €
  • Tasting menu with a selection of classic and current dishes, in addition of some exclusive for this menu
    • Disfrutar – a 185 €

The servant recommended all “first time” eaters to go with either of the two classic menus. That being said, we opted for the Disfrutar menu.

The restaurant was before regarded a catch, but that can hardly be said anymore, with a menu for 185 Euro (a price on pair with most of 3-stars Guide Michelin restaurants in Spain). I checked older menu prices, and they have increased in price quite substantially, the last couple of years. A price to pay for its popularity…

We had something like 35 servings this dinner (click any picture to enter gallery):

We had the following wines:

  1. Paul Déthune – Champagne – Brut Grand Cru – 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay including 30 to 50% reserve wine
  2. Egly-Ouriet – Champagne – Grand Cru Brut Rosé NV
  3. 2015 Clos i Terrasses Clos Erasmus ‘Laurel’, Priorat D.O.C., Spain
  4. 2014 Bodegas Juan Gil ‘Bruto’ Monastrell, Jumilla, Spain

In summary:

Not many can get away with a molecular style of cooking a la 2017. This term (i.e. “molecular”) is to start with, very vague and misused and secondly, something no one wants to be associated with. However, for me it describes a little bit of Disfrutar’s style, but maybe it is better to call it modernist cuisine. Needless to say; Disfrutar does of course not label its food themselves as molecular. Instead, they emphasize its Mediterranean identity and modern angle.

Before my visit, I was not sure, if I still would appreciate this style of cooking. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Given that we had about 35 servings, naturally not all of them suited my taste buds. But in overall, I really enjoyed Disfrutar, with its many different and fun modern dishes! Highly recommended!

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