Photo by Patricia Esteve
Lunch with... Rosemary Trigg
When Enoteca, the Hotel Arts’ flagship restaurant, got its first Michelin star earlier this year the buzz was audible. But since chef de cuisine Paco Pérez was out tending the mother ship —the Miramar in Llança on the Costa Brava—on the day of my visit, I caught up with Rosemary Trigg, long-time Communications Director at the hotel, to catch a bit of the buzz.
“It was an extraordinary experience,” she told me when I asked about the accolade. “We had no idea it was happening. We knew the inspectors had been in, but there was no notification, no letter, no e-mail. Then, all of a sudden we got a phone call and that was it. A star was born.”
Then, as now, the cool, calm interior of widely spaced tables and dipped-in-chocolate décor makes you feel utterly grown-up and rather like you might have won the lottery. It is the very essence of understated decadence.
“How is it,” I mused as we munch on crisp shavings of sugar-sweet white asparagus dipped in alioli “to have lunch at Enoteca every day?” Rosemary laughs. Obviously she doesn’t eat here every day, but it is certainly no bad thing to have it beneath the office.
The success of the restaurant must, in part, come down to Pérez’s artful creations. “He’s a pleasure to work with because he’s so clear about what he’s aiming at in culinary terms,” Trigg explains.
How so? I ask, “Espardenyes,” she says without missing a beat, she goes on to explain how he takes a simple ingredient, the sea cucumber, and works his culinary magic. “That’s the essence of what Paco’s cuisine is all about; the excellent quality of a product prepared in a way which highlights taste and texture at their best.”
For today though, Pérez has tasked one of his young protégées with our tasting menu. Carefully grooming his team to cultivate their own ideas is all part of the Enoteca culture. As such, a multi-course extravaganza awaits that runs from baby squid in its own ink, through lobster topped with creamy grey mullet roe, to foie and chocolate turbot in potato jus, to a truffled, free-range chicken burger and balsamic vinegar ice cream.
As sensory sensations go, this is one that’s worthy of the €86 price tag. If you’re going to have one blowout this autumn, make it here.
Enoteca - Hotel Arts, Marina 19-21, Tel. 93 483 8103
Open: Mon-Tue 12.30pm-4pm, Mon-Sat 7.30pm-11pm
Rosemary’s top tip:
Els Pescadors because “it feels so different to other restaurants. The fish is superb and it’s been going strong for so long, it’s quite simply a Barcelona classic.” Plaça Prim, 1, Tel. 93 2252 018, www.elspescadors.com