Located in the chic and hypermodern Hotel Arts in the vibrant and stylish marina in Barcelona, Enoteca Paco Pérez is one of the most beautiful places if you want to enjoy dining with an astonishing view on the water. Everything in this restaurant is about a top-notch service, elegance and mainly flavourful fine food.
Stylish design and a relaxed atmosphere
Enoteca Paco Pérez boasts a light, airy and stylish interior that matches the ‘marina-feel’ perfectly. The warm wooden floors, the cosy chairs and sofas and the soft cushions in natural fabrics are harmoniously combined with modern plants, white, meticulously stiffened table linen and Austere tableware that creates the right atmosphere. When the sun sets, the setting of the restaurant gets even more beautiful with its nice atmospheric lightning and intimate feel. When the weather is nice, one can enjoy the Mediterranean breeze on the terrace with privileged views of the Olympic Port. Enoteca Paco Pérez offers the ideal setting for all lovers of good food who want to discover the Mediterranean flavours in a creative and exciting way.
Exciting wines at Enoteca
While preserving the importance granted by Paco Pérez to the world of oenology and as a compliment to his refined cuisine, Enoteca has a balanced winery that offers a selection of more than 700 wines. In the wine list, you will find the most essential wineries as well as the most interesting, prestigious and innovative wineries, thanks to their constant search around the world for the most exquisite new wines. What’s especially interesting, is the selection of wines that is created for Enoteca Paco Pérez alone, amongst which we tasted the K22 wine, which has a limited production of just 300 bottles.
Signature cuisine with Mediterranean essence
Founder Paco Pérez is faithful to his principles based on the freshness of the sea and the essence of the seasonal Mediterranean products provided by the garden and the mountains. His signature cuisine offers us an interpretation of today’s cuisine with traditional and innovative touches. A philosophy based on the quality of the ingredients, simplicity and elegance, as well as the innovation and creativity of each dish. Some dishes take as reference the essence of traditional cuisine to reinvent itself, generating new textures, flavours, colours and smells. Sense-oriented designs where the natural products of the Mediterranean make up the fundamental base.
The gastronomic experience at Enoteca Paco Pérez is marked by the three basic pillars that support Mediterranean cuisine: olive oil, wheat and wine. Virgin olive oil, as the maximum representative, permeates each of the creations. Wheat, like a big star, shines on the menu. And wine as a fundamental accompaniment, with a balanced cellar to combine the exquisite experience.
A culinary concept by Paco Pérez
The inspiration and driving force of the culinary concept at Enoteca Paco Pérez, is the renowned chef Paco Pérez, where the restaurant was named after. He’s a great exponent of the avant-garde cuisine of the 21st century and, at the same time, a kitchen worker who’s discreet and shy.
Born in Huelva, he was going to be a professional football player, but his fascination for cooking was too strong. As a child, he came to ‘invent’ a pizza by cooking it in the sun and at the age of 12, he began working at his family’s tapas bar. It was there that his genuine passion was created. He combined his studies with working in different restaurants and during the learning and training processes, he performed several stages in France with Michel Guèrard, as one of the parents of the Nouvelle cuisine and holder of 3 Michelin stars. Back in Catalonia, he identified himself with the creativity of Ferrán Adrià in elBulli, with whom he also performed several stages. In 1984, love tied him forever to Llançà. He married Montse Serra, owner of the Miramar family, a simple hostel with a restaurant on the beach. Together, in absolute synergy, they transformed it into a place of pilgrimage for gourmets around the world and it became a contemporary and avant-garde restaurant with 2 Michelin stars. Paco Pérez also directs the gastronomic proposal of Cinco by Paco Pérez (1 Michelin star), the restaurant of the Hotel Das Stue in Berlin, L’EGGS in Barcelona, Tast in Manchester and La Royale and Bao bar in Barcelona. But always, always, with Llançà and Miramar as his base port. It’s since 2008 that Paco Pérez is in charge of the Enoteca Paco Pérez at the Hotel Arts Barcelona, where he has the opportunity to transfer all the essence of his origins in the Costa Brava to the Barcelona coast.
Meet the team
The team at Enoteca Paco Pérez is very experienced and hospitable, making every guest immediately feel at home. They come across very relaxed and accessible, yet always maintain a kind of natural style and elegance. Paco Pérez and his team work to achieve their goal of earning the respect of the guests every day, through a concept that is described as the freshness of the sea and the essence of the product.
We had the chance to have a conversation with Executive Chef Xisco Simón and Maître Edgar Iglesias, about the philosophy at Enoteca Paco Pérez, their passion and their future ambitions.
Hungry for More: Can you tell us more about the philosophy and the cuisine at Enoteca Paco Pérez?
Executive Chef Xisco Simón: Our cuisine revolves around top quality products. We want to celebrate the beauty of each season by using the best possible products of a certain time of the year. That’s why we change the menu four to six times a year. Some products are even used no longer than two weeks in a row, so we can guarantee the best possible quality. This approach requires a profound knowledge of what’s available on the market. That’s why a strong and good relationship with our suppliers is of crucial importance. Let’s say a new load of fresh fish arrives in the harbour. The best fish might already be sold in 30 or 40 minutes. And of course, those are exactly the kind of products we’re looking for. We want the best of the best and we want to be the first ones to have it. (smiles)
Hungry for More: The Spanish gastronomy is world-famous for its creativity and innovative style. You told us that you always strive to honour and respect the product. Isn’t that contradictory?
Executive Chef Xisco Simón: You could say that we are walking on the edge. We combine the best of both worlds. The creative cooking style is just as much part of our heritage as our respect for top quality ingredients. So by using innovative techniques, we bring the best out of the terroir.
Maître Edgar Iglesias: I’d say you need to innovate or die in the world of gastronomy. Guests expect to get new experiences. We need to make sure we don’t repeat ourselves, so we always need to be able to surprise and to excite.
Hungry for More: We know you’re always looking to innovate, but may we ask if there’s a signature dish here at Enoteca Paco Pérez? A dish that you can always find on the menu?
Executive Chef Xisco Simón: When Paco Pérez started off many years ago, his cooking was humble, yet always of very good quality. A dish that has always been on the menu, is ‘rice’. Today we also present a rice dish in most menus, yet it changes depending on the season. Today, now that autumn has just started, we serve a combination with flavours from the sea and the mountains.
Hungry for More: The restaurant is called Enoteca Paco Pérez. Does this mean that wine plays and important role in the concept of the restaurant?
Maître Edgar Iglesias: In Catalunya and Spain, we have a long heritage of wine making, just as much as gastronomic cooking. In a traditional enoteca, you can just enjoy a glass of good wine. Here at our restaurant, you can also enjoy a wide variety of wines. We’d even dare to say that wine plays a role that is almost equal to the one of food.
Executive Chef Xisco Simón: We always look for the perfect harmony between food and wine. When you combine both, it can take things to another level.
Hungry for More: What about inspiration? Where does it come from?
Maître Edgar Iglesias: Paco is definitely a great inspiration to all of us. Although he has achieved a lot during his career, he’s a super humble chef with a great personality. He’s been in the business for so long and although he’s getting older, he’s still full of fresh ideas. He never gets tired of what he’s doing, because he’s so passionate about food. And his knowledge, motivation and strength are reflected in our restaurant as well, both in the kitchen and the service.
Hungry for More: You regularly chance the menu. How does the development process of new dishes work?
Executive Chef Xisco Simón: Restaurant Miramar, the home base of Paco Pérez’ cuisine, closes about six weeks during the winter. In that period, the whole team is fully focused on recipe development and the creation of new dishes. The foundations of the menus for the coming year are built then, so we have a solid base for innovative cooking at Enoteca as well.
Hungry for More: It seems like you already have achieved so much: a beautiful location, an exciting top-quality cuisine, good rankings in the international culinary listings, an interesting clientele, … What are your ambitions for the future?
Executive Chef Xisco Simón: Indeed, it seems like we are living our dream already. Our main ambition is not necessarily to get a third Michelin star or to achieve more and better rankings in culinary listings. It’s of course always very flattering and motivating to get that kind of recognition, but our true goal is to improve what we do day after day. We want to keep on working as a team and to go in the same direction, so we can bring the best possible experience to our guests.
Maître Edgar Iglesias: I totally agree. We’ll keep on giving the best we have, the after day. That means working long and intense hours, with just as much passion.
Tasting menu and much more
At Enoteca Paco Pérez guests can choose between several à la carte dishes or an extensive tasting menu, combined with a wine pairing, a top pick from the wine list or a variety of non-alcohol beverages. We’re happy to try the tasting menu in order to capture the true style and philosophy at the restaurant Enoteca Paco Pérez.
We start our gastronomic experience with a glass of local top-quality cava and a variety of small tapas, as they call the appetizers here at Enoteca Paco Pérez.
First there’s an appetizer of oyster, seaweeds and sea sprouts (lettuce of the sea), topped off with olive oil. An interesting combination of briny, rich and flavourful textures and temperatures.
Next there’s fig bread with a foam of almonds, hazelnuts and figs, and a cream of almonds.
Coca de recapte (in an autumn presentation) is a kind of crystal bread with onion and on top a variety of local flavours of cacao, pomegranate, cheese, truffle, blackberry, blueberry and different kind of sprouts and herbs.
A cone of autumn is made of truffle and hazelnut. Inside there are figs, cocoa, truffle emulsion, pine and chestnut cream.
To create harmony in this course, there’s a consommé – they call it the warm welcome – with chestnut, sweet potato, mushrooms, chicken and a foam of butter and vegetables.
Three types of bread are then served with a beautiful olive oil: rye, spelt and brioche.
Hake fish (cocochas), prepared on the charcoal grill, is served with black trumpet, a sauce of black trumpet, a confit made with garlic and hake, black pepper and garlic, red chili, egg yolk with truffle and, seaweed and codium oil.
Braised crayfish is presented with a sauce of herbs and crayfish, mole sauce and truffle, forest sauce, made with mushrooms and beef, braised figs, brunoise of lettuce and pancetta, and a porcini confit.
The main course is pigeon (squab) with huitlacoche and a mole sauce of a thousand days. The sauce is made with butter and olive oil, combined with a parfait of pigeon, a sauce of popcorn, gnocchi and sprouts of coriander. In this dish, everything is revolved around the pigeon and typical Catalonian ingredients. The corn is part of the diet of the pigeon and the fungi are part of the ecosystem as well.
The pre-dessert is made of sweet potato, with the skin of the milk, mixed with dried sweet potato. Inside, there’s a foam of sweet potato and sweet potato ice cream. The dish is topped off with dried sweet potato and oil.
This classic dessert can never go wrong: red fruit, black sesame and yogurt, parfait of Greek yogurt, crumble of black sesame, brioche of red fruit, wild berries ice cream and marmalade, vanilla cream and a sauce of berries and vanilla.
Of course, there’s a carefully presented a cup of tea and coffee, accompanied by some pretty sweets to end the meal.
The creative vision of Paco Pérez, its signature cuisine that combines avant-garde and tradition, the beautifully designed dining room and the work of the entire team to offer the best service, make Enoteca Paco Pérez a great gastronomic Mediterranean restaurant choice in Barcelona.
Enoteca Paco Pérez – Hotel Arts Barcelona, Marina 19–21, 08005 Barcelona, Spain | +34 93 4838108 | firstname.lastname@example.org | http://enotecapacoperez.com/ | https://www.facebook.com/HotelArts/ | https://www.instagram.com/hotelartsbarcelona/
Interview & text: Sarah De Hondt
Photography: Adriaan Van Looy