Thursday, April 4, 2013
How do you describe an experience that is indescribable? In this case, the text needs to be brief and the pictures abundant. Last night Salva, Raquel, Pepe, Jaime, Susan and I had dinner at Quique Dacosta Restaurante in Denia. It is a restaurant that has earned 3 Michelin stars and when one dines there it is more of an experience than a meal.
Quique Dacosta owns three restaurants here in the city of Valencia – Mercat Bar, Vuelve Carolina and El Poblet with El Poblet being the most formal dining space of the three. I would guess that all three restaurants are revenue producing, given the fact that they are almost always full and reservations are a must. Restaurante Quique Dacosta is a both a restaurant and food lab and is not open year-round. When it is closed that is when new ideas, new concepts and new dishes are perfected. The staff is enormous and the restaurant is not. There are two dining spaces, one that accommodates fifty diners and the other that seats forty. The wine cellar is enormous and holds some five thousand bottles and its monetary worth is close to incalculable. The sommelier, Antonio, was recently voted Spain’s best sommelier.
Pepe came by the house a little after 6:30 and the three of us headed to La Estación del Nord to catch a train for Algemesí where we would meet up with Salva and Raquel. We drove in Salva’s furgoneta to Pedreguer where we picked up Jaime and then it was on to Denia. We arrived a little after 8:30 and we finished our meal a little after 2:00 AM. In the course of the evening we sampled 45 dishes and I honestly cannot remember the number of different wines we sampled. I am attaching a copy of the menu and as you will no doubt surmise, this is probably the most expensive meal that we have ever had. That being said, this was the best food experience that we have ever had. Every dish was pleasing to the eye, as well as the taste buds. There indeed were a number of conceits that deceived the eye. For example, what appeared to be a black stone amidst a pile of black stones was in fact a gel filled with a Parmesan cream. The rose with which we began the meal had an edible center that one extracted with tongs. Many objects of nature accompanied the food on the plate and so it is fair to say that each dish had its own setting. It was like taking a trip through an enchanted forest of culinary delights.
In the course of our meal we had the opportunity to chat with Quique for a while and we discovered that his services are much in demand and that there are not enough hours in the day for him to do what he has to do. Pepe was the driver for our return journey. We dropped Jaime off in Pedreguer and Raquel in Algemesí. We were the third stop and when we walked through the door it was a little after 3:30. Today will be a day when we take life easy and I am sure we will be eating light all day.
Here is the menu and Susan’s pictures follow the text.