El Bulli + Cala Montjoi Bungalows

Mar 5th, 2007, 10:47 PM
  #1  
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El Bulli + Cala Montjoi Bungalows

We are dining at El Bulli in early June and had been planning to stay at the Alhambra Park Hotel which seemed to be the closest lodging option. But I just discovered a Holiday Vacation Club type option right on the beach at Cala Montjoi and walking distance to El Bulli. I understand from other posts I've read (mainly on E Gullet) that this is a primitive lodging option (guests must bring their own towells) but am curious to know if anyone here is familiar with this spot. The drive to this secluded cove where El Bulli is located is said to have ruined the pleasure of dining at El Bulli due to the steep drops and narrow dark paths. And a taxi from the hotel to/from the restaurant would be 50 Euro. So this seems like a decent option and how great to stay right on the beach. I doubt that in June there would be many families vacationing so it might be pretty quiet too. Any comments or thoughts from those who have been their or to El Bulli would be appreciated!

Muchas Gracias
entrada is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 11:06 PM
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I guess I don't get the total 'foam' thing. The French Laundry and Per Se in the U.S. are way too over the top to make any sense any more. We are starting to get El Bulli / French Laundry clones in the SF Bay Area, and I guess I'm missing the point(s).

Here's a web site that, based on my own choices, led me to Arzak for a meal in May, rather than El Bulli.

The gentleman is a Brit, who, at least, has eaten many times at all the retaurants in the world, seemingly.

Play around with this site and you might find some interesting restaurants.

He kind of directly picks on El Bulli....
http://www.michelinrestaurantsguide....estaurants.asp

What can I say?
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 11:26 PM
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Amazing to read that Robuchon "retired many years ago".
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 07:29 PM
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My guess is that Robuchon has gone the way of far too many chefs, in that he really doesn't cook anymore. He just opens restaurants with his name on it.

I'll give in to the fact that the restaurants are in the 'style' of Robuchon (or Keller or Batali or English or...), but they can't keep it straight when they have many restaurants scattered arround the world.

Take a small look at the Chefs that have migrated their 'concepts' to Las Vegas, for a prime example.

If you haven't, read Anthony Bourdain's book "Kitchen Confidential". It's partly autobiography and partly a lesson on what is really happening in the kitchen. A very informative and funny book; learn about le mis.

He's still the Executive Chef at Les Halles (I think) but I bet he hasn't been there in years.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 07:39 PM
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I tried to get a reservation at El Buli, they are booked all of 2007!!!!
cigalechanta is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 07:53 PM
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Unfortunately, foam is the 'hot' thing for this year.

I'm heading to Arzak in San Sebastian, in May, which surprised me with a reservation available on a Saturday night.

My only other 3* restaurant was the recently annointed French Laundry, before he opened Per Se in NY.

The concept of "tasing menu" is just that. Either arrive after you've eaten or eat somewhere else afterwards. Nothing like 10-12 courses of miniscule food.

For $200-$400 a person, my palate likes to feel that I actually ate dinner.

Maybe we'll go full circle and back to actually having food for dinner. When is the question.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 08:02 PM
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Had a memorable meal at El Bulli in 2000 before it was as hot as it is now. Tasting menu was $85 pp then. Our then nine-year old son gobbled up all 18 courses (including items I declined like barnacles and monkfish liver). Chef ended up presenting him with a cookbook and taking us on a tour of the kitchen for foam lesson. (Other son had fries and steak.)

We were staying in Cadaques and drove there for a 3-hour lunch. Road was windy but not nearly as bad as the guidebooks said. I bet it would be worse at night though and probably worth staying on the beach.
crosscheck is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 07:00 AM
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Rastaguy, just a small point: Tony Bourdain has had nothing to do with Les Halles in New York for many years. I am not sure how you could recommend Arzak to someone who has reservations to eat at El Bulli.... I have heard a few less-than-stellar comments about Arzak recently so will look forward to hearing about your experiences there. ( I found the tapas to be so great in Sanse that I did not eat any sit down dinners at all!)

Entrada...If you will be in Roses or nearby for more than one night, the other place that sounds amazing is Rafa's Place,a simple seafood spot that is the antithesis of El Bulli but sounds almost as compelling in itw own right.

We were in Cadaques in midMay and it was virtually empty of tourists....did not get to Roses, though.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 07:51 AM
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Akelarre vs. Arzak? I'm leaning to #1 am I right? I too have lusted for a dinner at El Bulli and I'm sure the experience is worth it. "They" poo poo'd Bocuse too....it was fantastic.
johnthedorf is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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Take a look at this food journal:


http://www.gastroville.com/archives/spain/000005.html
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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Take a look at this food journal:

I did, it's a riot, probably unwillingly.
Anybody who boasts of sitting 6+ hours at a restaurant table is either a pompous person (!) or a stomach without much brain.
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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I agree; he is totally pompous but I did have fun reading it. I am not sure I would want to share the same table with him but he does give lots of information!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 09:29 PM
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ekscrunchy

Actually, I didn't recomment Arzak, I just said where I'm going.

Mr. Bourdain's latest book, out a few months ago, (Nasty Bits) still has him as executive chef. Go figure.

I'd love to see a food writer/critc that isn't totally self-centred. I just picked up on the fact that there is a listing and trending of 3* Michelin restaurants, which is not based on his opinion. His opinion(s) of restaurants come from other parts of his web site.

Your gastroville link is 2 1/2 years old, a generation in the restaurant business.

This is a tacky comment and I apologize ahead of time for the comment, but the web site reminds me of those airline web sites where people take pictures of their meals served on a plane.

I am looking for longevity, and the Michelin folks have Arzak with longevity.

Chaque pour soi. If El Bulli is your thing, then so be it.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 07:25 AM
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I will hit El Bullí twice this year (long story on how that came to pass, but I am excited nonetheless), and the first will be at the beginning of May. My friend and I are going and planning on staying at Cala Montjoi. We are staying there for a few reasons.

1) we don't want to drive (we are driving to Roses, though, and then doing a little more of Girona)

2) though primitive, I have friends who have stayed there and they say that it is just what you want: a place to sleep after a long meal that is close to the restaurant.

I will come back after the experience and yay or nay it.
laclaire is offline  
Mar 11th, 2007, 07:17 PM
  #15  
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Thanks Laclaire - I'll be anxious to hear about your experience at the bungalows in early May.
entrada is offline  
Mar 11th, 2007, 08:04 PM
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Tried to book El Bulli- they are completely wiped out for 2007.
Laclaire- you can auction off your El Bulli reservation on E-bay!!
Does anyone know how much is the degustation at El Bulli?

I tried to book Sant Pau the new 3 star, also full. Anyway I have a reservation at Can Fabes in April.
I think at 125 Euros for degustation, its not as expensive as France or the US?
kilofoxtrot is offline  
Mar 11th, 2007, 10:06 PM
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"Your gastroville link is 2 1/2 years old, a generation in the restaurant business.

This is a tacky comment and I apologize ahead of time for the comment, but the web site reminds me of those airline web sites where people take pictures of their meals served on a plane."

rastaguy -- do follow any food blogs at all, like egullet? They all include photos of each course of countless degustation menus and I don't understand how that has anything to do with airline food. The mere fact of a photo is too vulgar for your refined tastes? You do realize that these "celebrity" chefs actually participate in these food blogs, don't you?
fishee is offline  
Mar 11th, 2007, 11:06 PM
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I noticed on the El Bulli site that they were completely booked up for 2007. I wonder if American Express concierge can get one reservations there anyway?
Leburta is offline  
Mar 12th, 2007, 12:26 AM
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I only know one person who ever bent the rules of elBullí and it was not through American Express. They called on a higher power and that afternoon sat down to a table for 4. I was quite annoyed because I had been trying for 2 years for a reservation. Now I have it, though, and am really happy.

I won't auction off the table. In the first instance, we will be 4 friends, and in the second, it is a family affair.
laclaire is offline  
Mar 14th, 2007, 08:27 AM
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Hi Entrada
After 4 years of trying we finally got to eat at El Bulli last June and it was a wonderful experience. We were the first there and were lucky enough to be shown around the kitchen. We stayed in a Prestige group hotel in the centre of Roses and they organised taxi for us to El Bulli which cost 30 Euros and took about 20mins. The drive was fine. I wouldn't have liked to negotiate it myself in the dark because of all the pot holes but the taxi drivers are well used to the road. Just one thing ask the staff at El Bulli to order your taxi when you have finished dinner. Apparently it has been know that the menu is shortened if taxi drivers are waiting. Also eat light at lumchtime! Enjoy...I am sure you will have a fabulous time. Don't forget your camera. Everyone takes photos.
best wishes
Anne
Ps We did some sightseeing in the area the day after. The ruins at Empuries(particularly the Roman side) are not to be missed.Lunch or dinner at tiny tiny St Marti nearby is delightful. Dali's house in Port LLigat is fascinating(you have to book a place)
annesouness is offline  

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