Saturday, August 2, 2014
Today is Janel’s first official day of vacation and she is sleeping in. That means that we are sleeping in as well. We hang around our apartment piddling with the internet, packing our things to move and generalling lazing around. Rich discovers Spanish tv.
The plan for today is to get a day pass to the local gym, workout and then have lunch before renting a car to drive north along the coast to Sant Pol de Mar. We all believe that if we workout, we will feel great (and also won’t feel so guilty about our planned dinner tonight). The plan holds. The gym is really nice, but it takes forever to actually check in – good thing Janel is there because I think they require your first born in order to get a day pass. We all do “our thing” and come out hungry and energized. After a quick stop at our apartment to collect our things we meet Janel at her place.
When we get to Janel’s street it is obvious that the construction of items for the upcoming Fiestas de Gracia (click on the link – you will not believe how huge this event will be) are well underway and are picking up steam. They seriously are planted right in front of her door and show no signs of moving.
We have a special restaurant reservation this evening in Sant Pol de Mar, but we are hungry NOW. A great lunch stop is made near Janel’s place at a fantastic Catalan restaurant – La Llavor de Origens.
We all eat probably more than we should, but the food is excellent. After lunch we taxi to the Sants rail station to rent our car. The journey north along the coast to Sant Pol de Mar is scenic and not too long.
We originally wanted to take the train back and forth the same day, but were unable to score a lunch reservation, (three months in advance) so we settled for a 9:00pm dinner rez. That meant that the train would not be running when we were finished so we had to spend the night. There really is only one hotel in town – Hotel Gran Sol. Not bad, but we are not there for the hotel anyway.
The main attraction in this little town (aside from the beach) is the 3-Michellen starred restaurant – Carme Ruscadella (Sant Pau). I have wanted to to here for a couple of years and finally have the opportunity. We are all excited to see what it is all about. Fortunately the restaurant is within a short walk of our hotel.
Carme Ruscadella Restaurante Sant Pau is in a beautiful building that really opens up when you step inside. At first we are the only patrons – after all 9:00pm is early for dinner in Spain!
It didn’t take long until all the tables were full – there are only about 12 tables. The wait staff is fawning all over us and the service is impeccable. The Tasting Menu is the only way to go:
I did not overdo it with the pictures because I wanted to concentrate on the company and the food. Here is just a sampling:
When we enter the dessert phase of the evening the chef – Carme Ruscadella – comes over to our table to greet us. She is outgoing, friendly and just the sort of chef you hope to see in this kind of place. She is very gracious and approachable.
Two bottles of cava later and one bottle of white wine (remember, cava doesn’t count) we are escorted onto the brilliant patio for our last dessert and coffee.
When you are downstairs on the patio you have a wonderful view of the upstairs dining room and the hustle of the downstairs kitchen scene.
The final dessert presentation is “The Dragon.” It is a sculpture made of different kinds of chocolate and pastries. We loved breaking off pieces and consuming them.
This was a fantastic dining experience – one of the top that I have ever had. It was certainly a night to remember. Rich and I were so happy to be able to share it with Janel and Dario.