The usual caveats apply and all that, but I might have just eaten at the worst restaurant in the world. Not that I hadn’t been forewarned; I should have taken note when Rafael Garcia Santos, the One-Man-Michelin-Guide of Spain, contorted his face into something quite indescribable when I told him we were going to eat at l’Esguard. I should have listened to many other concerned friends who pointed out that Roses—and the legendary elBulli—was really not that much farther from Barcelona. One even pulled out a mobile and offered to get us a reservation.
Alas, I was determined. Pigheaded, I should say. I had already been to elBulli, but not yet l’Esguard. We were sticking with our plan, we would not be swayed by anyone, not even the lot of them. Our resolve was, sadly, resolute.
You could hardly blame us. The chef, Miguel Sanchez Romera, has a back-story that is more than intriguing: a
brain surgeon neurologist by day, and an haute cuisine chef by night. Ok, it’s more like two and four days a week, respectively, but you get my drift. Quite an iconoclast, Sanchez Romera famously denounced the inclusion of his restaurant in the Michelin Guide for Spain. Whether he had done so pre or post the not-so-favorable mention (ok, a demotion) in said guide is up for question, however.
I knew things began southward not long after we entered the beautifully restored 16th century building. Lining the walls of the reception room were photographs of the food. Beautiful yet strangely sterile. They were blown up, spotlighted, and posed as if to demand no less than worship from the unsuspecting diners passing through the corridor.
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