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Restaurants & Bars 4

El celler de Can Roca - Way too over-rated

MichelinStarDinners | Nov 30, 201312:44 PM

This was our second visit to El Celler de Can Roca. First time was over 5 years ago and I remember finding El Celler deserving of its 2 star Michelin at that time, though not one that was going out of the way of what is expected from a good 2 star Michelin (read: a good but not an great 2 star Michelin). Then in September 2013, we seized the opportunity of a hard earned reservation (1 year) at El Celler as an excuse to also re-visit France. We basically spent just that 1 day in Spain with the sole excuse of dining at El Celler then moved on to France. Well, given that Restaurant Magazine has rated El Celler as World's #1 restaurant and in light of their now 3 star Michelin, we logically hoped that the meal would have been way better than what we have experienced over 5 years ago. Unfortunately, even with food items that were different, it was even less impressive. I mean, what they are doing is good, make no mistake about that, and would certainly impress people who do not dine a lot at this calibre of restaurant or cooks with experiences in casual restaurants, but if you are used to the usual high level expected among, say, a typical top flight world class gastro destination, you'll find the cooking level ordinary (their gimmicks with the olive tree is déjà vu, their Elderflower infusion is very pretty to espy, but really, at this level, more is expected, especially in terms of the work of the flavors, charcoal-grilling proteins is sublime, but again...not revelatory for this standing of dining, , even the desserts...although good... are not that special for this level of dining ). I love the Roca brothers, have the highest respect for their hard work (few tables have worked that hard to earn the highest respect) and I always had some good time here, and we'll go back there, but in my view, their job is way too over-rated (if this is #1 world's restaurant, then Noma and the Fat Duck, let alone Alinéa in Chicago --we are not even fans of those three tables --- deserve better. I am sorry to insist on this, but really, if you have spent years cooking at high level, you won't fail to understand what I mean). Again, a really great table, an amazing value for what you problem is when people try to sell it as what it is NOT: world's #1 table. That can't be the case. As best value restaurant in the world, it will get my vote with not one single hesitation. As best restaurant in the world, it would make my top 50, indeed, but not a top 20. Honestly, we love Spain and El Celler is a place we enjoy visiting. We are just not comfortable with overselling as what it is NOT.

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