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A true bargain for a Michelin star experience: Restaurant Xerta (7. August 2021)

| September 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

Luckily, it didn’t continue like it started. Upon arrival, we were brought to our table and then the waiting begun. It took them a solid 10 minutes to bring the menu and another 10 to take the order. Now, I get it, it’s busy, and all. But if you carry 1 Michelin star, that’s definitely way too long! As I said, luckily, things improved massively thereafter.

We went for the “tasting menu” (EUR 90.00) with a fitting “wine pairing” (EUR 58.00) and there, it was still a bit rocky. The first course was a selection of Xerta mussels (delta oysters, cheese and truffle lionesa, marinated anchovy air baguette, pickled celery with marinated sardine, duck brioche with cherries, and crispy rice with prawns) which ranged from relatively boring (oyster) to absolutely amazing (marinated anchovy air baguette). However, there was a little issue with the first glass of the wine pairing, i.e., the champagne was stale. So I complained and asked for new glasses – and from that moment the service changed.

With the oyster you would have to add some chili which was served separately and you were informed that the chili was relatively spicy. Which, uhm, no, it wasn’t. So, I was quite surprised to not feel anything after adding five drops. I guess the perception of spiciness is very individual.

The first course of the menu were the “our most exotic secret (Ebro Delta Noah’s ark clams with orange segments, nitrogen-infused pesto and curry sauce” which was a great start since the combination of the consistency of the mussels with the freshness of the orange, the herbs and ultimately the curry sauce really made it an exquisite dance festival for your taste buds.

Second in line was the “ràpita beach nigiri (squid, prawn and Asian consommé ‘nigiri’) where I have kind of mixed feelings about it. The rice of the nigiri was replaced with small pieces of squid and that part was absolutely delicious. The fish on top too. Now, the crunchy stuff on top of it was also enjoyable, …

… however, the broth which was added to the dish didn’t help it. I was expecting something with a lovely intensity but it was really just tasting like water and – in my opinion – ruined the dish.

They served, like the day before, the heads of the gamba and it was good but not as good as in the alkimia.

As I had initially mentioned, the service quality increased massively after the initial complaint on the stale champagne. With this course, they kind of had a timing issue – the wine pairing was already served but the food wasn’t ready. So one would just empty the glass and ask for a second round, and once that and some background yelling had happened, the next course came.

The “barraca rice (Ebro Delta rice with pigeon, morels, and rancio wine cooked over a wood fire)” was served once the doors of the place opened …

… and I do admit, it was great. The rice had an intensity and was still to the right degree coarse, so you would really be able to enjoy it to the max. The pigeon was smooth and did not really bother in terms of taste intensity. So, quite a great dish.

Next in line was the “fish in a play of colours (fresh fish from Sant Carles de la Ràpita fish market in Salinas de la Trinidad salt with charcoal-infused coconut and basil soup)” which was prepared at the table …

… and looked absolutely pretty once put down. The fish was intense in its flavor yet smooth and tender. The vegetables were aromatic and the sauce went well with both.

After that, it was duck time – the “Canetón duck (Canetón duck with mustard and fine herbs)” was a relatively small ‘main course’ but due to the intensity of the sauce with the tenderness of the meat, was actually a great dish.

Then it was time for the first dessert – the “Terres de l’Ebre citrus textures (blood orange gelée, orange pulp with nitrogen and yogurt ice cream” was a nice balance of sweetness and fruity flavors and not too intense after a relatively intense menu.

The last official course was “the star (apricot starfish with sweet chocolate mousse and floral green tea ice cream)” and it did not only look interesting but was also absolutely delicious and enjoyable. So for me, it was the perfect finish.

However, it wasn’t entirely finished just yet and you would get a few “friandises” to end the evening.

All in all, I really enjoyed the dinner at the Xerta once the waiters realized that their service wasn’t really up to quality – after that, it was not only great service but also friendly and swift. The dishes are good and the place is, especially price-wise, quite a bargain. So, if you are looking for a relatively cheap Michelin star experience, I can highly recommend you to book a table at Xerta.


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Contact Details:

Restaurant Xerta

Carrer de Còrsega 289

08008 Barcelona (E)

Tel.: +34 937 37 90 80

E-Mail: info@xertarestaurant.com

Homepage: http://www.xertarestaurant.com

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
EUR 330.00 (incl. tip) Filed in: Barcelona (E), Restaurants

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