Suculent - Portland Food Adventures Group

Suculent – Day 1 PFA International Barcelona


Our first official day of the Portland Food Adventures International Barcelona tour was Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. We first met up as a full group at the garden bar of our hotel, H1 Urquinaona Plaza and had a drink and introductions.
(Previous: Arrival and pre-day in Barcelona)

Most of us had met at previous pre-PFA functions, which included a recruitment tapas afternoon at Jose’s restaurant, Ataula and another pre-tour dinner at Lardo.  We had printed notebooks provided which listed our destinations and times each day, including a map and metro stops. We could walk to the restaurant as a group or take the metro or cab.

Suculent Casa de Menjars
Suculent Casa de Menjars

Our destination for the first night was Suculent Casa de Menjars, in the El Raval district of the old city. We strolled down Las Ramblas and over to Suculent. They needed a little extra time to prepare the upstairs room for our group and we cooled our heels at tables in the plaza nearby. Chef Jose grabbed a notepad and took our drink orders and had them filled by a nearby bar. We had a merry time waiting for our table.

Chef Jose Chesa gets our drink orders
Chef Jose Chesa gets our drink orders

Once inside, we went on a jaunt through and up and around to a private room up under the rafters. This was a fun way to have the space to ourselves for dinner. The wine flowed freely, both cava and red wine.

Wendy at Suculent
Wendy at Suculent

The courses started coming and seemingly never stopped. In general we each got a tapa-sized portion of each, just a couple of bites.

Suculent serves contemporary Catalan tavern-style food. It is elevated by chef, Carlos Abellan, who worked at El Bulli for 15 years.  His  Comerç 24 in the El Born area of the old city has a Michelin star. The focus was, as typical, on the freshest ingredients. A few modernist touches went into the preparation.

Suculent - Cod fish on cracker with sweet olive tapenade
Suculent – Cod fish on cracker with sweet olive tapenade

Cod fish on cracker with sweet olive tapenade

Suculent - Oxtail and mushroom croquette
Suculent – Oxtail and mushroom croquette

Oxtail and mushroom croquette – this was one of my favorite bites.

Suculent - Pickled mackerel
Suculent – Pickled mackerel

Pickled mackerel

Suculent - Red shrimp with avocado
Suculent – Red shrimp with avocado

Red shrimp with avocado

Suculent - Tomato - tongue- tuna - almonds
Suculent – Tomato – tongue- tuna – almonds

Tomato – tongue- tuna -almonds

Suculent - Smoked sardines, ajo blanco, trout roe
Suculent – Smoked sardines, ajo blanco, trout roe

Smoked sardines, ajo blanco, trout roe

Suculent - Beef tongue lettuce wrap
Suculent – Beef tongue lettuce wrap
Suculent - Red tuna steak with pine nut sauce
Suculent – Red tuna steak with pine nut sauce
Suculent - Eel and red pepper
Suculent – Eel and red pepper
Suculent -  Pulpo with garbanzos
Suculent – Pulpo with garbanzos

This octopus and garbanzos combo reminded me of a dish we had for breakfast at BarCentral.

Suculent - Calf's Tail
Suculent – Calf’s Tail

By now, we were quite ready for the desserts.

Suculent - Portland Food Adventure Group
Suculent – Portland Food Adventure Group
Suculent - Figs
Suculent – Figs
Suculent - cheesecake muscatel with lime
Suculent – cheesecake muscatel with lime
Suculent - Dessert
Suculent – Dessert

Dinner started around 7:30 pm and lasted until 11 pm.  We needed the 35 minute walk back to the hotel wear off some of the food and wine.  Taxis were readily available for those who wanted to ride back.

Next: Tapas on Day 2 for lunch and dinner

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