Cinc Sentits – Barcelona, Spain
A restaurant review.
I did not think I’d be able to create this post- each dish we had was elaborate and I knew could never recall each ingredient enough to bring it to life. Fortunately, at the conclusion of our meal we were given booklet that had the details of every aspect of our meal- fantastic! Let’s begin.
We arrived at Cinc Sentits for our 8:30PM reservation and were shown the menu on antique oil lamps.
The options for dinning include a four course or six course meal and the addition wine pairings or a selection from their extensive wine list. The middle pamphlet listed the potential ingredients for the evening so any food allergies, intolerance, or dislikes can be addressed beforehand without revealing the courses. We opted for the four course meal with the wine pairings and by the looks of the ingredients, we were very excited to start our evening.
First, we were brought a welcome drink described to us as having maple syrup, cream, cava sabayon and sea salt and instructed to keep the glass inverted for several seconds to ensure all the salt sitting at the bottom was consumed. I think we both immediately stuck our tongues in the glass to get every last delicious drop.
The plates that arrived to the table first were the “Pica Pica” course of tapas.
- Iberian jamon de bellato middle right
- Grilled vegetable flatbread with olive oil “caviar” top left
- Freshly shucked baby clams with our secret sauce #3 bottom left– we think the secret sauce was vinegar based
- Salt-baked potato, bonito tuna belly, carrrot and green bean puree middle left
- Anchovy with quince paste, anchovy emulsion and pickled pepper bottom right– for as small as this was it was unbelievably flavorful
- Manzanilla-arbequina olive with rosemary, verdiell with herbs from Collserola top right
Our wine pairing for the “Pica Pica” and the next course was vermouth and I have to admit I was disappointed upon hearing this. I know vermouth is technically a wine but I was expecting traditional wines with the pairing option. The vermouth cart came around and was made table side- poured vermouth (made for this restaurant), added a splash of seltzer for carbonation with the orange zest and the peel with a giant ice cube. I have to say it was delicious and I felt bad for ever doubting vermouth!
Our first official course was “Land and Sea of Catalonia”
A pea soup made with baby peas, pea shoots, pea essence (not sure what this is), black truffle air (so they say), and anise.
We had heard about the amazing sea urchin so we were very excited to have the opportunity to try it. The sea urchin was topped with razor clam, green apple, ice plant, and Salicornia. Both dishes in this course were very tasty.
I have to take a moment to acknowledge the bread service. Accompanying a large bread piece were two olive oils and brown butter with sea salt. This butter was out of the world- I do not know why we were head over heels for this butter and we could not stop singing the praises- the staff even brought us another round of bread and the butter- heavenly! Always, always eat the butter.
The wine for this course was Ramon do Casar Nobre 2016, C.O. Ribeiro. Next plate for us was one of my favorite seafood items, scallops. Pan-seared scallops on to of a parsnip and onion puree topped with a Iberian ham chip. The scallops were so flavorful and cooked to perfection and wine the complimented this dish very well.
The third course is an item we always seek out on a menu, foie gras, and the pairing wa with Nou vi de Boira, Pontons. The wine tasted like nectar- it was so delicious. This foie gras is the restaurant’s signature item and is truly the best preparation we’ve ever had. The foie grais is caramelized in a sugar shell topped with braised leeks and chives. It is unfair that something this exceptional exists and we do not have regular access to it!
Our final course was duck prepared three ways- duck breast with sauteed pears, duck leg with a red wine gel and pistachio crust, and roasted duck wing and neck in a pancake topped with a pear chutney. The wine pairing here was a strong Magnum Acos 2007, D.O. Ribera del Duero. Both were fantastic individually and paired harmoniously.
The “pre-dessert” (perhaps as a palette cleanser) was fresh mato cheese with red grape jelly, red wine ice, white chocolate cookie crust.
Our dessert was the restaurant’s interpretation of the “Ferrero Rocher” so this dish consisted of a toasted hazelnut mousse with candied hazelnuts, yogurt powder, and tangerine sorbet. This wine paring was a 200 Monges Vendima de Invierno 2011, D.C.CA. Rioja, thick like a dessert or ice box wine.
When we thought the meal was over, we were brought out yet another dessert for the “Final Temptation”. This dish had almond turron nougat, almond polvoron cookie, and red currants. And yes, I took full advantage of that squeeze bottle of caramel delight.
Kevin opted to try the “Liquid Treasures” sherry vertical tasting. A cart wheeled around to display three bottles of Pedro Ximenez grape by Toro Albala. Most sherry made in the traditional solera style (found in balsamic vinegar making as well) uses barrels from various years to fill the older barrel’s evaporated portion, the “angel’s share”, so each bottle contains a percentage of even the oldest vintage. What is unique about this producer is they use only the vintage year to fill the barrels meaning that as time goes on, there are fewer and fewer barrels. The years we got to try were 2015, 1973, and 1955. I enjoyed the 2015 the most, the taste and mouth feel was a caramel delight! Kevin preferred the subtle, smooth bite of the older vintages. We were also given various chocolates to pair with each year to enhance the experience. It was such a treat to taste these!