Barcelona, Catalunia, Europe and Middle East, Newsletter, Restaurant Reviews, Spain

Restaurant Review Enoteca Paco Perez, Barcelona

14/04/2023 by .
Enoteca Paco Perez

Andy Mossack indulges in Enoteca Paco Perez’s sixteen-course tasting menu.

I have to admit I was a little concerned when we first walked into Enoteca Paco Perez for our tasting menu banquet. We were the only ones there and an army of waiting staff was lined up to greet us. Then I realised it was only 7.30 pm and this was Barcelona after all. By the time we were halfway through our sixteen-course opus, it was running at full pelt and that waiting army was well and truly occupied.

paco perez enoteca hotel arts mob

Chef Paco Perez is Catalonia’s most decorated chef with five Michelin stars. Enoteca Paco Perez takes two of them, another two reside at Miramar his restaurant with rooms in Llançà, while 5-Cinco by Paco Pérez in Berlin has his fifth.

A former disciple of Ferrán Adrià’s legendary El Bulli, Perez is obsessed with Catalonian cuisine’s two main influences “the ingredients of the sea and mountains,” and with Enoteca Paco Perez he unabashedly extracts the riches of the adjacent Mediterranean.

The restaurant has pride of place on the lobby floor of the towering five-star Hotel Arts Barcelona, a shoreline icon since the 1992 Olympic Games. Perez’ tasting menu comprises sixteen courses from which fish and seafood is the major shareholder. “What does Enoteca mean?” I asked sommelier

Enoteca Paco Perez

Enoteca Paco Perez

Guillam. “It essentially translates as matching food with wine.”  That no doubt explained why nine of the sixteen dishes had wine pairings. It was perhaps the ultimate indulgence and an extraordinary culinary challenge, but one I was thoroughly looking forward to tackling. After all, the cellar has a reputed 700 wines to select from, so nine glasses shouldn’t put much of a dent in the stock.

The opus commenced with seafood cocktail, a trio of tapas titbits each delivered on its own plate; a circle of tiny prawns in a cocktail sauce, a tube of calçot ice cream (Catalan spring onion) and, atop a pedestal, a delicate broad bean tartlet. Prior to this, two prosecco glasses were delivered simultaneously from opposite sides by two of the waiting team in perfect sync. I couldn’t help myself “You get a ten from me for artistic interpretation.”  “Yes, we dance together very well don’t you think?”

IMG 1971

Guillam returned clutching a chilled bottle of Prosecco from the prized cellar and reverently poured the golden nectar while recounting its provenance. Needless to say, it was a perfect pairing, and we were off and running.

It was, to say the least, a veritable array of colours and tastes, each one like an oil painting mounted on its own canvas plate.  A flower made from razor clams, a Gaudi- inspired homage circle of prawn, tuna and sea urchin with a yolk centre, another circle of squid ink surrounded by foam with green peas, caviar and smoked butter, (this one paired with a glorious Alicante muscadel courtesy of Guillam and ably assisted once more by the dancing duo).

Enoteca Paco Perez

Enoteca Paco Perez

The gallery of artwork paused for a bread course; a basket of crusty slices sacrificed at the altar of LLUM, a limited-edition olive oil specially produced for Senor Perez.

The line of masterpieces resumed. Pasta-like Sea cucumber wrapped around a black garlic sauce; followed by a striking yellow number made from smoked eel; and then a silky turbot with citrus squid.

By now, eight courses in, I was amazed no canvas had been duplicated yet, and I was still able to enjoy Guillam’s vinicultural backstories. I perked up even more when our dancing duo managed to materialise plates of aged pigeon breast with a morel terrine and sour cream for the main course. A welcome break from seafood. It also meant I got a tasty red from the noble cellar.

Enoteca Paco Perez

Now we were on the home straight with the desserts. Four of them. A Perez version of tocinillo, which is a Spanish custard. This one like a wedge of caramel but with added seaweed. Then, black rock a balsamic sauce, blackcurrant ice cream and an olive sponge. And then the final canvas, Waffle. A chocolate mousse shaped like a waffle and kumquat ice cream on a striking gold plate. This one paired with my final glass – a cider!

Petit fours were delivered immaculately by the dancing duo, each one balanced on the sprigs of a branch. Why a branch I mused to myself. Perhaps an ancient Catalan ritual of valour for reaching the finish line, yet still energised after sixteen courses and nine wine pairings?

Enoteca Paco Perez

Enoteca Paco Perez

As the curtain came down on the Perez opus, I felt like standing to applaud but wished no encore. I could eat not a morsel more. It was a memorable culinary journey, a gallery of masterpieces that seemed to bring everything the Mediterranean had to offer onto our plates and into our glasses.  Bravo!

All images except Paco (C) Andy Mossack

Tell me more about Enoteca Paco Perez.

Enoteca Paco Perez, Hotel Arts Barcelona, Marina 19–21, 08005 Barcelona Spain.

T: +34 93 4838108 E:

Sixteen-course tasting menu €208pp. Nine wine pairings €135pp




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *