We ate a lot in Spain. That much is true. Between the tapas, cava, and everything in between, I never found myself wanting for food. It was our first time in Spain and I’d like to think that we did it right- at least when it came to our meals. We’ve comprised a sample of some of the greatness that we experienced while in Costa Brava. You might want to grab a napkin and a snack as all of these are drool inducing.
Let’s start with our favorite appetizer, pan con tomate
I was a little skeptical when I was told to smear a tomato on my beautifully toasted piece of bread, but I decided to trust the locals and boy was I glad that I did. The picture above was the first slice that we had in Spain and we soon learned a few tricks of the trade. Garlic, for example, can be rubbed on the bread before the tomato and it gives it the perfect burst of flavor.
This iconic appetizer is popular in the Cataluña region of Spain. We were told that this method was used on stale bread in the past. The tomato would moisten it and the salt and oil would gift it with flavor. We found ourselves enjoying this delicious treat before almost every meal. We loved it so much we had even tried to replicate it a few times since we’ve been home. We just haven’t found the perfect tomatoes yet.
Now, onto the iconic Spanish tapas
Oh, tapas. The Spanish know what they’re doing when it comes to tapas bars. I enjoyed being able to just grab plates of whatever looked delicious. My favorites were papas bravas, cheesy croquettes, and anything that was smothered in aioli sauce. The coastal city of Palamós was the sight of our tapas tour and I could barely walk after from all the food I sampled. Not only did we have our choice from what was on the bar, but servers came around every few minutes with a new plate of deliciousness. Why don’t we have more places like this in the United States? Oh, probably because I would weigh a thousand more pounds.
The prawns pictured above are famous in the Palamós region and even come with their own seal. While I’m not a lover of seafood, I found that I still had a plethora of tapas options, many of which involved cheese. All in all, I’m a big fan of tapas bars and I wish we had more in the States.
Compartir Restaurant in Cadaqués
Compartir served up one of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had the privileged of eating. Compartir in Spainish means “to share” and it fits perfectly with the shared plates that we sampled. Located down an unassuming street in the coastal town of Cadaqués, this diamond in the rough knows how to treat its guests. We were greeted with a welcome cocktail (why don’t we have more of these in the United States?) and had the perfect selection of wine to go with each dish. The staff was knowledgeable, friendly, and very professional. You can tell that there’s a lot of love and care that goes into the food at Compartir.
We enjoyed treasured conversations while dining on beautiful dishes. I can’t even count the number of courses that we had, but each one was innovative and oh-so tasty. We would definitely recommend Compartir as one of the best places to eat in Costa Brava.
Our first Michelin star restaurant, Casamar
When I first told Chris that we were going to eat at a Michelin star restaurant in Spain, he immediately thought I was taking him to a tire store. Once I explained to him that a Michelin Star is a mark of prestige for restaurants around the globe he seemed to perk up. Truth be told, our dining experience at Casamar seemed out of this world. The dishes looked almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Casamar is located in the beautiful coastal town of Llafranc. The edible masterpieces arrived in multiple courses and each dish tasted better than the one before. Our appetizer was this palette of color featured below. The wonderful staff at Casamar even catered to my distaste for seafood and brought that ridiculously delicious salad (with creamy, melted cheese) in lieu of their octopus salad.
My favorite dish was the leek cannelloni. It practically melted in my mouth and the sauce was ridiculously creamy. Dessert was also delicious and came with a show. Plump and ripe strawberries were dipped in melted chocolate and then frozen in a cauldron of dry ice. I could have sat there and eaten those chocolate covered strawberries all day.
A romantic vineyard picnic
This meal was very simple, rustic and… well, beautiful. After a tour around the Terra Remota winery, we found ourselves under a canvas canopy with a gorgeous spread of fresh bread, tomatoes, cured meats, cheese, and wine (obviously). There was a light breeze in the air and the four of us relished in the gorgeous atmosphere as we enjoyed our picnic. I often day dream about our beautiful afternoon at Terra Remota.
Private cooking classes with iCookIt and Chef Jordi
Hands down, one of my favorite experiences from our time in Costa Brava was our private iCookIt cooking class with Chef Jordi. In his talented care, we learned how to prepare and cook some of our favorite Spanish dishes. Feel free to come on over to our apartment and we’ll cook you one delicious meal with all of the skills we learned from our class. We prepared gazpacho soup, a yummy Spanish omelet, a hefty pot of paella, and some crema catalana for dessert. Oh em gee. It was delicious.
Our cooking class with Chef Jordi in one of the most beautiful kitchens was a highlight of our trip. The food we made was incredible and Chef Jordi had us laughing and dancing around the room. We left our class feeling full and accomplished.
Our trip through Costa Brava was one of our favorite adventures to date. We are still pinching ourselves from all that we were able to experience and that we did it with two of our best friends, Kent and Caanan. Have you seen our video from the trip yet? If not, be sure to check it out below.