Discovering Costa Brava’s Bounty: Part III

Catalan dance in Barcelona
Catalan dance in Barcelona

Catalan cuisine is something to celebrate.  Below are two must-eat restaurants of Costa Brava.

Marc Genes of Visit Emporda  and  Alba Plana of Costa Brava Tourist Board  introduced my group of travel bloggers to locals excited to share their tables brimming with goodness.  Outside the Museu de la Mediterrania we sampled raw and cured sausages prepared as they were in the 14th century; brunyols, fried, sugared dough similar to beignets; local apples, bread, tomatoes, and wine.

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Our one day in L’Estartit meant sink or swim to manage two big events– snorkeling the Medes Islands and a meal.  Why we all didn’t sink after lunch at  La Gaviota is a mystery.  Located beachfront, it was my favorite restaurant of the eight delicious days I spent feasting on Costa Brava.  From Lloret de Mar through the Baix Empordà region, nature’s bounty of foods locally grown and freshly caught made tasting experiences simply exquisite.

La Gaviota. L’Estartit

Restaurant La Gaviota in L'Estartit
Restaurant La Gaviota in L’Estartit

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Deciding from all the choices was difficult.
Deciding from all the choices was difficult.

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Seafood lovers, this Poulpe a la galicienne (Octopus Galician style) is the best dish I’ve ever had. It could have easily been my meal rather than the starter.
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Main course, Hake donostiarra style
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Ratafia ice cream…Ratafia is a liqueur of lemons, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, mint, rosemary, and anise.

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Whiskey frozen cake (Tarte galcee au whisky)–as a Kentucky/Tennessee girl I couldn’t resist.

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This wine (below) was wonderful.

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Even the water was stylish.

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Thanks to the staff and our gracious host. owner Lluis Pigem.
South of L’Estartit was the most beautiful restaurant of the tour, a once-casino and terrace under a magnolia tree that reminded me of home.  The presentation of starters; their signature dish, Pals rice casserole; and the best macaroon dessert I’ve ever had relaxed us so much after a bike ride we needed a double expresso to continue our journey.
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Nice wine , fun friends
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Classy food, classic place
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We wondered if this was the casino’s safe in bygone days
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Scallops with cream of leek and truffle oil
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Foie grass with figs and mango jam
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Rice casserole made with local rice and seafood
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A fine finish…hazelenut and raspberry praline macaroon with Ferrero Rocher ice cream

Cindy McCain

A Southern Girl Gone Global, I flew from my empty Nashville nest in 2014 to land in Africa where I lived two years in magical Marrakesh, Morocco. Now I live in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and continue sharing my journey--so far across 27 countries on 4 continents and the Caribbean. This travel/lifestyle blog is about letting go of fear, clinging to faith, and following your heart's desires. It's a celebration of beauty, adventure, relationship...roots and wings.

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