Monday, December 18, 2006
The Best Restaurant in the World? Guess I'll Have to Take Their Word For It
I'm drooling over the thought of my very first trip to Europe in September 2007, which starts in Spain. Naturally, I'm thinking ahead to the meals. This is my naïve line of thought: "Hey, isn't elBulli in Spain?" A quick look at the elBulli restaurant's website confirms that they were touted as the "Best Restaurant in the World" as voted by 500 critics, chefs, and gourmets from around the world that put together the 2006 list of the World's Best Restaurants for The Restaurant magazine. "I know about this trip nine months in advance, maybe I can save up all my money for one unbelievable meal, or a snack, or..something..." I poke around the site and find the very serious "synthesis of elBulli cuisine" - twenty-three statements laid down like restaurant commandments. The pretension of it all feeds my curiousity rather than squelches it like I might expect it to. I skim through the bios of the chefs. Again, very serious stuff. *CLICK* - the reservations page. They are filled up for the 2007 season. Aw, man. The whole year. Well, I really shouldn't be surprised. I know how hard it is to get in to even the French Laundrey. So then, feeling a bit silly for thinking this would be easy, I go looking for the menus, to really rub it in. The history of all of their dishes from 1983 - 2006 are photographed and catalogued beautifully. I've borrowed the phrase graduate level dining before, but I think the phrase really applies here. The geek in me savours the elegantly organized documentation of their creations. Is this place overrated? Who knows? Possibly, but I would so like to take that gamble and experience it in person. I mean, I just started slow with the food porn on their site by clicking on last year's cocktails...and even that looks wildly creative. Also, I'm actually quite fond of foams, so I'm good to go. So join me and feast, virtually, upon some wonderfully ambitious food and drink here. You'll have to click your way through. There is always an English option (EN), go past the ad for the books, and click the "enter to elBulli.com" at the bottom of the screen. Find the catalogue under gastronomy. Bon appetit!