Tuesday, March 29, 2011

El Bulli Hotel

So, you are probably never going to eat at El Bulli. Me either. And this is as close as you're going to get. A half-hour taxi ride outside of Seville will bring you to the Hacienda Benazuza in SanlĂșcar la Mayor. This is a magical place filled with pristine citrus groves, canopied outdoor lounge beds, rows and rows of fountains- there were probably baby unicorns wandering the rows of olive trees, but I think I was too excited for dinner and may have missed them.

So, now you have tricked your family into driving 30 minutes outside of Seville to have a 16 course El Bulli's Greatest Hits tasting menu. And you have been explaining for the past four days to your father, who hates olives, that he will served an olive. You say that he has to eat the olive, because even though it is in an olive jar and looks like an olive, it is NOT an olive- it is a reverse spherified olive oil that has been brined.

He, of course, tries passing on the olive. And then you have 16 of the best courses of food and mind tricks that you have ever had- Quicoguaca. Mimetic peanuts. Deconstructed omelette potatoes. "Ajo blanco" with prawns, ceps, and asparagus. Tuna ventresca with tuna mayonaise and jellied tomato. Mini quail in carrot pickle. Rabbit shoulder in "salmorejo" sauce with mango puree and marscapone cheese. All ending with a frozen English bread pudding that practically evaporates before your eyes.

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