One of the hazards of having a pastry chef as a sister is that when she comes to town, you eat a lot sweets! I had no idea Barcelona was home to so many chocolatiers, pastry shops, pastry schools and restaurants with delicious desserts until we walked around and sampled at each one!
One of the most memorable places Alyce took us to was Espai Sucre, a restaurant so devoted to desserts, that's all they serve.
First comes a palate cleanser, which on the night we visited, was broccoli soup with mustard cream sauce. Doesn't sound like dessert? Well, you should have tasted it!
Then, everyone chooses their own personal adventure of taste. You can select a Cheese Menu, a Chocolate Menu, a Big Pastry Menu, etc. Each comes with several courses, and each course comes with a wine pairing. It makes for difficult conversation when there's so many tastes mingling around your mouth all at once, but we managed.
To begin, some of us were brought an olive oil cake, topped with white peach ice cream, and garnished with a green olive caramel strip and a splash of cheese. It could be thought of as a very sweet salad.
Next, I had a goat "cheesecake"on top of an open-face red pepper. It was served with raspberry ice cream and lemon foam. I thought this one, with all these strong flavors, was too intense, but even so, it was artfully designed and fun to eat.
Another one of our favorites (we passed plates), was this codfish risotto with artichoke hearts, tomato ice cream and fish fin chips. Tomato ice cream is so heavenly, I bet it replaces salted caramel as the next 'it' flavor.
Alyce, the pastry chef, was most impressed with this one: a simple cake soaked in red wine with a splash of saffron, decorated with parmesan cubes. She's even thinking about adding a version of it to San Francisco's Bar Bambino dessert menu next month (if you order it, mention this blog and she'll probably give it to you free!)
After five plus courses of dessert, it was smiles all around!