Spain 2010: Restaurant 1: Massana restaurant (*)

The first day of our holiday, the day of our arrival in Girona we had a table booked at Pere Massana’s restaurant in the centre of Girona, Massana. We really liked this restaurant, it looks like a relatively general restaurant with some modern touches. The service was great (they tried to teach us speak Spanish :-)) and the food didn’t disappoint either. The food could be described as pure and traditional with some modern techniques utilised where it makes sense, think some sous-vide and foam preparations. This is a solid restaurant that delivers what you would expect from it and that is quality in all aspects. Recommended.

Pere doesn’t seem to speak a lot of English and as such makes short(er) table visits to english speaking tables than the Spanish tables.

You can tell that the restaurant is cherished by the locals, in fact, most tables booked that evening were seemingly local people.

We ate the gastronomic menu paired with a wine arrangement to go with the courses:

Massana restaurant

Gazpacho amuse bouche

This amuse was a little flavour explosion and is a great example of Massana’s cooking, a modernised classic that as mentioned packs a big flavour punch.

Massana restaurant

Beetroot and yoghurt crunchy

Along with the first snack/ tapas courses we drank a Cava Raventos i blanc gran reserva de la finca 2005

Massana restaurant

Cauliflower, cockle, red vermouth and orange salt

Massana restaurant

Asparagus tempura with Romesco sauce & Liquid mushrooms croquette

The asparagus tempura was a real hit. The asparagus flavour was beautifully coming through with a nice, non soggy, crunch from the tempura rounded off with the romesco tomato finish.

The Mushroom croquette was also a real winner with a big mushroom flavour explosion.

Massana resturant

Foie gras ganache, sweet onion marmalade and wild mushroom mousse

Traditional Foie gras, re-invented, again a real winner. We drank with this course a Muscat Stiegelmar-beerenauslese 04 from Austria.

Massana restaurant

Marinated sardine, tomato tartare and virgin olive oil ice cream

Nice, refreshing and pure ingredients, that’s what the best description of this sardine dish is. Very fresh and un-fussy fish with some very good fresh flavour combinations in the ice cream and tomato.

In a way surprising but definitely a great combination to go with this dish we got a blonde beer, Inedit beer from the Spanish brewer Damm

Massana restaurant

Ravioli of black pudding, Granny Smith apple on a bed of pumpkin cream

Probably what elevated this dish from good to great was the fact that the pasta for the ravioli was so thin it would melt in the mouth.

We drank a glass of White V3 Viñas Viejas 07 barrel from D.O. Rueda

Massana restaurant

Line-caught hake, with roasted vegetables, morel mushrooms and squid

A solid, well cooked piece of hake that didn’t deliver any surprises…..

To go with it a White Ctonia, Masia Serra from D.O. Empordà

Massana restaurant

Duck magret MASSANA style

This little magret de canard dish was outstanding, in fact it was so good that i almost had finished it when i realised i hadn’t taken a picture of it 🙂 It was a simple dish, just the amazing magret on a plate with some olive oil. I did notice that another diner in the restaurant had ordered this dish as a main course and instead like us getting about 8 little slices she got a huge plate of it entirely covered in a big square of these slices. I am not sure if after eating about a quarter of that quantity i would get a bit bored of it.

We had a Red Parvus Syrah Alta Allella from D.O. Allella to go with it.

Massana restaurant

Pork neck, black sausage, orange and apple compote

In most restaurant we ate on this trip the general let down was the main meat course, not in Massana though. This visual beauty delivered in flavour, textures and pure tenderness of the meat that you will only get from very slow cooking it. The black sausage “grounded” it while the orange “lifted” it up again….

Red Figuero Vendimia Seleccionada from D.O. Ribera del Duero

Clementine textures

A gorgeous fresh little dessert, not too sweet, delivering a gorgeous plate with likewise flavours

Sweet Mataro Alta Alella from D.O. Alella

Massana restaurant

Liquid chocolate fritters with bread pillows

Nice, but not great, the pillows were filled with chocolate (a little nutella like) and there were too many chocolate nuggets at the bottom of the plate.

Pedro Ximenez Alvear from D.O. Montilla Moriles

Massana restaurant

Petit fours

The meal concluded with coffee and tea with some petit fours, chocolate truffles, local cookies and some almondy sugared tuilles

Massana restaurant

Petit fours 2

All in all we had a great evening with some wonderful food. This was definitely not our most favourite restaurant, not was it our least. As mentioned before this seems like a solid restaurant where they know what they are doing and as such i can not imagine people getting any bad experience when dining here. Recommended.

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About foodietrials

I love my food. I love cooking it, I love eating it.
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