Parker goes to France, part six…

On Tuesday, we were blessed with more sunshine, although the weather was still pretty chilly. After another breakfast starring Ribeauville’s flakiest croissants, we headed south toward Eguisheim. Bill and I last visited there in February 2017, the trip Parker was supposed to join us on, but missed due to a sudden injury. That trip in 2017 was followed by a few days in Burgundy, and remains one of my favorite France jaunts to date. One of the reasons I enjoyed it so much was because of the lunch we had at Caveau Heuhaus in Eguisheim, where I enjoyed creme brûlée lit at the table.

As it turned out, Caveau Heuhaus was one of the few restaurants open in Eguisheim during our visit on Tuesday. So, after we strolled around the old city, which is notable for being a well-preserved medieval village that consists of concentric streets, and visited a couple of churches where Bill had a good cry (sometimes churches move him to tears), we stopped by very gay friendly Caveau Heuhaus for lunch. Here are some photos from before our fantastic midday repast.

We headed to the restaurant after we visited the churches, where we were looked after by a very professional, friendly, English speaking waiter. He seemed to be handling the whole dining room himself and Bill said he remembered him from our visit in February 2017, too, although that time, we had a female server. Bill had a gratin made with the stinky local cheese, Munster. He said it was amazing, though to me, it smelled a bit like ass. Parker had the baeckeoffe (baker’s oven), a casserole popular in Alsace. It typically includes a mix of sliced potatoes, sliced onions, cubed mutton, beef, and pork which have been marinated overnight in Alsatian white wine and juniper berries and slow-cooked in a bread-dough sealed ceramic casserole dish. I went with potato pancakes and salad.

The first part of the video is Parker seeing Arran for the first time since 2017… then you see her enjoying creme brûlée flaming at the table!

After lunch, we took a leisurely stroll back to the parking lot, which has a very clean, well appointed public toilet that costs nothing to use. Germans should take note, although the Germans very kindly offer their Autobahn for free (for now, anyway).

Our next stop was Colmar, a lovely city that Bill and I visited for the first time in October 2014. Unfortunately, that was a place where I was asked a very embarrassing question in a restaurant. We hadn’t been back to Colmar since that visit for Columbus Day weekend in 2014. It was good to be back, if only to see Little Venice and allow Parker the chance to pick up some gifts for her friends back home in Texas. Here are quite a few photos from our brief visit. I actually learned something new during our couple of hours in Colmar. As I walked around the town, I noticed a lot of references to the Statue of Liberty. It turns out that Colmar is where the sculptor, Auguste Bartholdi, was born. We could have and should have spent more time in Colmar, so I could erase that memory of being asked if I was pregnant by an obtuse waiter back in 2014.

I was a little sad, realizing that we’d be leaving Alsace yesterday… but I was missing Arran and ready to do some writing. We spent our last night in Ribeauville drinking wine and watching Dirty Dancing on Netflix. Since MIL was a competitive ballroom dancer back in the day, it was a fun movie to watch with her. But it also made me feel ancient, since I was 15 years old when it came out, and I am over three times that old now. 🙁 Time flies!


Colmar, Part 3

On Sunday morning, we got up and had breakfast at the hotel.  I picked up an egg I thought was boiled, but when I cracked it, it turned out to be raw inside.  That did little to make me feel good about the culinary wonders of Alsace.  Fortunately, there were croissants, loaves of bread, cold cuts, cheeses, yogurts, and juices to be had.  Bill and I filled up, marveling at how good the local honey was.  I don’t usually like honey very much, but we ended up buying some from the hotel.

This was near Mulhouse.  I thought it was appropriately phallic looking, so I photographed it.

Many roads in eastern France have neat rows of trees on either side next to fields. 


I hope the person who owns that house is getting paid big bucks for letting Clear Channel put that ugly ass billboard in their front yard.

Cameras are always watching you…

We decided to drive around the area to see what was there.  First, we went to Mulhouse, which is a large city and not nearly as cute or charming as Colmar is.  I was glad we were based in Colmar instead of Mulhouse because what we saw of it wasn’t very attractive.  But I will admit we didn’t hang around there for long.  Instead, we drove northwest through lots of cute little French towns that were totally dead.  The weather wasn’t all that great because it was a bit cloudy and rainy.  I managed to take some pictures, though, and noticed that France doesn’t seem to completely shut down on Sundays like Germany does.

One of many cute but deserted towns we drove through…

A deserted snack stand on the way up a mountain side.

Brief instances of sunshine…  It didn’t last.


Cool looking tattoo parlor.

When it got to be lunch time, we started searching for somewhere to eat.  We finally found signs of life in a town called Remiremont in Lorraine.   We parked the car, again for free, and started walking. Bill really needed to find a bathroom and finally found a public one that cost 40 euro cents.  But he didn’t have the right change.  I put in 40 cents and got a buzz and a locked door for my trouble.  We kept walking around and finally ended up at a creperie called La Gavotte.

Helpful map for tourists.


We went in there and sat down.  A baby was crying and my nerves were a bit jangled because I was hungry and my blood sugar was dropping.  Bill looked at me and asked, “Do you need wine?”  I nodded, so he asked the very friendly proprietor for a carafe of sauvignon blanc.  While Bill was using the one toilet in the place, which he had to climb a flight of spiral stairs to get to, I watched the guy draw the wine from a box in a nearby fridge.  I had to laugh at that.  It was decent wine, but getting it from a box seemed decidedly “un-French”.  When I went up to use the unisex bathroom, there was a guy ahead of me waiting.  He was pretty funny when he came out, wiping his brow, smiling, and saying “Phew!”

Yesterday’s special at La Gavotte…

Bill savors the cheese.  My husband loves all dairy, especially stinky and flavorful cheeses.  I can barely tolerate sharp cheddar.  The raclette was mild enough that I could eat some of it.  A little went a long way, though.  Next time, I’ll get one with a less pungent cheese.

Dessert was fabulous…  the man gave Bill the colonel.  Under normal conditions, it would have made sense, since he is a colonel.  He had to drive, though, and the vodka would have put him in dangerous territory.

We both had the daily special, which was a galette with ham, raclette cheese, béchamel sauce, and potatoes, and a small green salad with a delicious mustard vinaigrette.  I am not a big fan of raclette; it tends to be a little too strong for me.  Bill loved it, though, because it was obviously made from raw milk.  I ate maybe half, though I loved the salad with its tangy dressing and fresh greens.  Frankly, after the dinner we had that was swimming in sauce, my body was wanting some roughage.

After we ate lunch, we had dessert.  I had a “colonel”, which was two scoops of lemon sorbet with vodka poured over them.  Bill had a salted caramel sundae, which was absolutely delicious.  My dessert was good, too… but I knew that with the wine, water, and “wodka”, I would soon be swimming in the urge to pee.  I did my best to relieve myself as much as possible before we left, but within a half an hour, I had to pee like a racehorse.

By the time we passed this lake, I was about to bust.


We were by that time in Gerardmer, a touristy looking town by a lake that had a map that showed there were public toilets. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find them.  And when Bill asked at a gas station, they couldn’t help us with a toilet or directions to one.  So I ended up finding a quiet spot behind some bushes.  It was raining, so at least I know my whiz got rinsed.  I wouldn’t have done that under ordinary circumstances, but I seriously had to go.  Besides, we did see a man rather brazenly zipping himself after peeing on the side of the road.

After that, we started heading back to Colmar.  Our route took us through the beautiful forested Vosges Mountains.  There were lots of golden leaves to be seen and even a couple of natural archways as we made our way through switchbacks and around cute little mountain towns.  Even though it was raining, it was really beautiful.  I can see why the area attracts travelers and skiers.

A natural bridge.  Too bad the wipers were going.

We got back to the hotel at about 5:00 and decided we didn’t want to deal with dinner in Colmar again.  Instead, we had dinner at the hotel… and it turned out to be a great decision.  Even though Le Relais du Ried is a basic, family owned hotel, it boasts a wonderful restaurant with a talented chef.  I had delicious duck breast for dinner, while Bill enjoyed veal with mushrooms and noodles.  We washed down dinner with a lovely bottle of Rhone wine.  Bill loves wine from southern France.  For dessert, I had three kinds of creme brûlée.  He had two kinds of chocolate mousse.  And then we shared a bottle of Alsatian riesling that was surprisingly good and not too sweet.

There were a few kids eating with their parents in the hotel restaurant.  One was a boy who appeared to be about four years old.  He had a pacifier in his mouth.  It was kind of odd because he looked a bit old to be sucking on a plug.  The kid and his parents sat near us and though he acted up a little bit, he was basically well behaved.  We saw him again this morning and he said “Au revoir” to everyone.  It was very cute!

There was also another American couple there– older folks who appeared to be Francophiles.  And lots of Germans.  I had to admit, the staff did a good job keeping up with everyone’s languages

France is sooo pretty!


Colmar, Part 2

So, we got to the hotel, Le Relais du Ried, at about 4:00.  It had a very small parking lot with narrow spaces.  We checked in and dropped our bags off in our tiny room.  It had most of what we needed.  The bed was fairly comfortable, though we would have liked one more pillow each.  Free wifi was included and there was a TV, though we didn’t turn it on.  The bathroom was surprisingly large compared to the room.  The shower had just a curtain around it and was very much a no frills affair.  Supposedly, the hotel has a spa and a hammam, but they weren’t mentioned when we checked in and we didn’t have time to go looking for them.

After we unloaded everything, we headed into Colmar, which is only about ten minutes away.  As we were backing out of the tiny lot, Bill bumped into a step and put a small dent in my bumper.  I probably wouldn’t have noticed, but he was upset.

Bedroom in our hotel room…

The area outside of Colmar is very rural, with cornfields everywhere and lots of cute little neighborhoods.  Even though we were maybe twenty or thirty minutes into France, it was definitely different than Germany.  It always amazes me how things change at borders.  The landscapes are the same, but the languages and signage changes.  We entered France near Marckolsheim, which has the distinction of being the one French town my mother-in-law got to see last time we lived here.  I got Bill to go over the border so we could have lunch on our way back from Oberstaufen (on that trip, we saw five countries in a single day and actually got trapped in Italy).

Colmar scene…

We parked the car in a garage near a Monoprix.  I was immediately nervous because the garage was going to close at 9:00 and I thought we might want to stay later.  The city was also very crowded, though quaint and cute, too.  We walked around a bit and I took photos, surprised by just how many people were in Colmar.  After just 30 minutes or so, everything sort of closed up.  It was very sudden.  One minute, the stores were open and there were street musicians and people milling around.  The next, things were closing.  We passed a sax player peddling his wares near Colmar’s huge cathedral.  He was playing a lot of cheesy 80s hits.  I noticed that the French seemed to enjoy 80s music, but this guy was egregiously cheesy.  He was playing songs like “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John and “Without You” by Nilsson.  He was a good player; it was just his arrangements that were a little sappy.  I probably should have bought a CD anyway.

I told Bill we needed to move the car before we found dinner because I was afraid the car would get locked in the garage.  So we ended up finding a large parking lot with free parking near a movie theater.  That was another thing I noticed in France.  More free parking there than in Germany!  Sadly, my car got dive bombed by a bunch of pigeons.  No wonder they were so frequently listed on the menus in Colmar restaurants.

There was a restaurant here that I bet would have been nice, though it was rather expensive.  Building is historic.

Many of the nicer looking restaurants were full, so Bill and I, along with a number of other people, were hunting for a place to eat dinner.  We went into one place called La Taverne.  It was totally empty at 7:00pm.  We sat down and were presented English menus with some rather funny translations in them.  There was a young guy who was a waiter and an older woman.  Neither spoke English, though the guy’s skills were better than the woman’s were.  As we were waiting for them to come talk to us, we could hear them in the kitchen clucking like chickens and having what sounded like a good time.

I ended up ordering a rib steak with mustard sauce.  Bill had salmon with sauerkraut, which also came with some kind of sauce.  And we had a bottle of Bordeaux.  As I was about to take a sip, the waiter and waitress both came over to me and seemed rather concerned.  The man pantomimed pregnancy and questioned “Baby?”  I was immediately horrified, though I later realized they weren’t trying to be rude.  It turns out they were concerned that I had ordered steak, though I asked them to cook it to medium.  Apparently, in France and Belgium, pregnant women don’t eat beef rare, though they don’t necessarily eschew alcohol.  I got it rare anyway and was too flummoxed to send it back.  It was also swimming in sauce.  I ate about half of it and gave up, though we did have dessert.  I had chocolate cake with custard creme and Bill had coconut sorbet.  Both were good.

As more people were filing in for dinner, I watched the waiter turn one group out rather rudely.  Another group appeared to be Swiss or Dutch (I thought they were Dutch but heard them say Switzerland).  They asked for menus in English, so they were probably from The Netherlands.

The food at La Taverne wasn’t that great and the service definitely could have been better.  But as time went on, the place filled up.  It was almost full by the time we left at about 9:00.  Good thing we moved the car out of the garage!

Bill checks out the English menu advertising a “slab” of salmon…

Not impressed.

When we got back to the hotel, it was packed because a lot of people were eating at the restaurant.  We ended up having to park the car down the street, which annoyed me, since we were also staying in the hotel.  By the time we walked to the hotel, a spot closer was open, so Bill went back and moved the car.  Then I had trouble sleeping because I was perturbed about the guy asking me if I was expecting a baby… even though I realized that at least I must still look young enough to conceive.

Ah well.  At least I got some nice photos in the city.  It was a bit too hectic for me on that particular day, but it really is a pretty town.  If we go back, we will have to make reservations at a nicer restaurant in Colmar.  A lot of the places were serving foie gras, though.  Not my favorite thing.

Little Venice…

Back from Colmar… what a weird weekend! Part One…

So Bill and I just got back from Colmar, France.  This was our first trip since our return to Germany.  We had intended to visit Colmar last time we were here but never got around to it.  Since Bill only had two nights free and this would be our dogs’ first visit to the Hunde Hotel Haase, I kind of wanted to stay close.  I didn’t think our dog Arran would give them any problems and we haven’t gotten any indication that he did, but I wanted to be sure we were somewhat near in case there was a problem.

The day got off to a rough start.  First, the coffee grinder that we bought in August broke and was blowing smoke in the kitchen.  And then Arran left me a big “present” spread in the basement, complete with a puddle.  It took some doing to clean that up.

We started our trip to France at around noon on Saturday, the 11th.  Since check in at our hotel, Le Relais du Ried in Bischwihr, France, wasn’t until 4:00pm, we decided to take our time getting there.  We took the long way, on B28, which took us through a stunning part of the Black Forest.  We stopped for lunch at Turmbräu, a really nice brewery/biergarten in a nice looking town called Freudenstadt.  The place was pretty packed when we arrived, so Bill and I shared a double stool at the bar.

I noticed a lot of people were dressed in traditional garb… women in dirndls and men in lederhosen.  Two guys in leather pants were sitting at the bar, each with a mas krug of the Fall Fest beer.  They looked like they had been there awhile.  The two of them were talking about nonsense, constantly bantering and slurring their words.  Bill got a big kick out of them.  They’d say something about beer in Barcelona, then follow it up with “Ja, ja, ja…”  Then they’d talk about tuna salad and more “Ja, ja, ja.”  There were two ladies sitting next to them who seemed very entertained, both by the drunken Germans and us, the wayward Americans.  They ate lunch and had more beer, then one of the ladies said she had to use the bathroom.  Then, one of the men said he needed to go… “Ja, ja, ja.”

The food and beer was very good, though, and served to us by a hardworking Asian German guy in lederhosen with the name of the brewery stenciled across his butt…  Most of the wait staff were wearing similar garb.

Bill had lentils with spatzle, bacon, and wurst…
I had pork with potatoes, cooked in beer…

The beer was good, too!


We kept driving through some beautiful countryside.  I took pictures as the car moved.  Many of them turned out surprisingly decently.  And I also scored a free pit stop…

After drinking beer in Freudenstadt, I soon had to whiz…  This was a lifesaver.  It was clean and free, too!  I have a friend who is an artist and loves the graphics on this port a potty…


Interesting advertising for a Gasthaus…

Once we arrived in France, there were cornfields aplenty…


Some of the towns we passed through leaving Germany were obviously spa towns.  We must pay a visit sometime.  They were very pretty, though I did spot a few bored looking teens sitting in a couple of them when we were stopped at lights.  I guess even if you grow up in a beautiful place, you may not recognize the beauty if you see it every day.


And the winner is…

Well, we scrapped our plans to go to Belgium because we don’t have enough time to make a road trip there worthwhile.  Instead, we’re going to go to Colmar, France.  It’s a very charming city in extreme eastern France.  We meant to visit last time we were here, but we ran out of time.

Colmar is maybe a two hour drive away through the Black Forest.  Should be a pleasant ride.  I booked us in a basic and inexpensive hotel.  I’m hoping for good food and a change of scenery.  Colmar is a pretty town.

I was thinking of going to Switzerland, too.  But to go to Switzerland and use the motorway, you have to buy a vignette.  Unless things have changed, the vignette is good from December 1 until January 31 of the following year.  So if we bought one now, it would expire at the end of January 2015.  I’m not aware of any discounts, either.  No wonder Switzerland is so lush and pretty!  It’s better to wait until December to go to Switzerland, if only to get ourselves a vignette.  They cost 40 Swiss francs or, I believe, 30 euros…  That’s about $40 or so.

Vignettes are a fact of life in a lot of European countries.  Some places let you buy vignettes that are good for a few days and they don’t cost much at all.  Others, like Switzerland, require you to buy one that is good for a year or so.  The countries that don’t have vignettes usually have tolls.  Germany is a rare country where there aren’t road tolls or vignettes.

I often see people with Swiss plates driving around here.  It’s hard to imagine what would lure them to Germany, although I’m sure a lot of things are cheaper here.  Like, the other day, I saw a guy driving a big truck on A81 with four big tires strapped to his roof.  I bet he bought those tires here.

Another thing that’s kind of cool is that a lot of Europeans use English to get by in places where they don’t speak the language.  For instance, when Bill and I visited Trier a couple of years ago, we had dinner at a little gasthaus.  A French family was also dining and instead of speaking French or German, they spoke English.  I guess it makes more sense, since English is a bit more global than German is and French and German aren’t somewhat similar the way Spanish and French are.

Ooh… this reminds me of an experience we had in Barcelona at a fabulous restaurant called Cinc Sentits.  Here’s my review.  It’s from 2009, but boy did that place put a smile on Bill’s face…  Hope we can go back to Barcelona and enjoy it again.  It’s one place where you’ll hear plenty of different languages.

Cinc Sentits is a five star feast for the five senses…

Apr 21, 2009 (Updated Apr 7, 2010)
Review by   

Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Food and Presentation:  
  • Ambiance and Decor: 
  • Quality of Service: 

Pros:Outstanding food. Impeccable service.

Cons:Very expensive. Reservations required.

The Bottom Line: Cinc Sentits is an amazing place to eat in Barcelona, Spain!

My husband Bill and I recently spent a weekend in Barcelona, Spain. Whenever we go on trips, we like to dine out at fine restaurants. We’ve used OpenTable.com online reservation service to find excellent dining spots worldwide. OpenTable.com did not let us down on our trip to Barcelona; it was through OpenTable that we found Cinc Sentits, a very unique restaurant offering a tasting menu that engages all of the senses.  Indeed, the name itself translates to five senses and we soon found out this restaurant is aptly named.

From the very beginning of my quest to secure a table at Cinc Sentits, I knew this restaurant would be different. When I first tried to make a reservation, I found that the only reservation available on Friday and Saturday was at 10:30pm! Now, I know it’s normal for Spanish people to dine out that late, but 10:30pm was just too late for Bill and me. Luckily, I checked back and managed to grab an elusive 8:30pm reservation. I guess someone canceled.


On the evening of April 4th, 2009, Bill and I found ourselves on a tree lined street in Barcelona. Our taxi driver had just let us out in front of Cinc Sentits, an establishment we easily could have missed. The sign out front is very small to go along with the restaurant’s diminutive size. Moreover, there was a graffiti covered garage door pulled about two-thirds of the way down. Bill and I waited outside for 8:30pm; that’s when the restaurant opens for dinner service. We were the first party of the evening to walk into the small dining room, which appeared to have about sixteen tables or so.

Cinc Sentits is outfitted in crimson and cream. Fresh orchids are placed on every table. The small but very professional wait staff is dressed head to toe in black. Everyone we came into contact with spoke excellent English, but I also noticed that several staff members also spoke French.  Although we did have one server who appeared to take care of us more often than the others, Cinc Sentits servers seem to work as a team.  We came into contact with all of them at least once during the evening.

Reservations are an absolute must!

Although Cinc Sentits will take walk ins if a table is available, the restaurant is often fully booked. That was certainly the case when Bill and I dined there. We were seated at a nice sized table for two as more people streamed in. Every single one of them had reserved a spot.

The whole experience takes at least a couple of hours and it appeared to Bill and me that Cinc Sentits entertains only a few people a night.  We did not see any of the tables turn over while we were there.  This is not a restaurant you can just drop into or come by for a quick bite to eat. Two ladies who tried to drop in unreserved were politely turned away because the whole restaurant was booked, although the apologetic waiter who broke the bad news was kind enough to offer a suggestion for another restaurant along with directions.

The clientele at Cinc Sentits seems to be an international lot. A table of Germans was seated behind us, while the table to our left included a local and his French girlfriend. We also heard British, American, and Canadian accents in our midst.

Our evening gets underway

We sipped glasses of cava and grazed on snacks of olives, almonds, and crackers as we looked at Cinc Sentits’ unique menu. Cinc Sentits offers a tasting menu in three different lengths. Diners can choose a three, six, or eight course meal with an optional wine pairing. The food is very fresh and presented artistically with flavors that seem unlikely yet still manage to work well together.

Cinc Sentits’ chef, Jordi Artal, is a self-taught culinary genius who uses very fresh, local ingredients and prepares food in the Catalunyan style. Cinc Sentits’ was named one of Spain’s top six restaurants shortly after it opened in 2006 and was awarded a Michelin star in 2008.

Artal’s wife, Amelia Artal, is the very professional yet friendly maitre d’ at Cinc Sentits. Bill and I were surprised by her very American sounding accent. We heard her tell a table full of Germans that she got her American accent from Canada! I later found out that Jordi and Amelia Artal both spent many years in Canada before coming home to Spain.

Bill and I decided to go with the eight course meal along with an optional wine pairing for an additional 30 euros each. Had we wanted to, we could have opted for finer wines at 50 euros each, but that was getting to be too extravagant. Patrons who don’t want the wine pairing can order another beverage or a bottle of wine off Cinc Sentits’ wine list.

The food

Our meal began with a question. One of the servers asked us if there was any food we were allergic to or didn’t like. I told him that I hate mushrooms with a passion. Bill, on the other hand, likes fungus and was happy to accept optional black truffles on one of his courses. That cleared up, Amelia Artal brought us what she called the “welcome shot”, which consisted of shot glasses filled with warm maple syrup, chilled cream, cava sabayon, and rock salt. She told us to down it in one gulp and to be sure to get the salt at the end. I was amazed by that shot, which reminded me of buttermilk pancakes. It sounds like it might be sweet and cloying, but it wasn’t. it was light and creamy and a delightful way to begin the meal.

The first course was a single, cold stalk of fresh asparagus served with a mussel and a delicious cream sauce. I really enjoyed the first course, but was not as fond as the next one, foie gras coca. This course usually gets raves, but I had never tried foie gras before our trip to Cinc Sentits. I was also familiar with how foie gras is made.

In any case, the foie gras was served on a thin pastry base with carmelized leeks, burnt sugar, and chive “arrope”. This course was matched with a sweet riesling wine from Germany. The wine went well with the foie gras, but I’m just not a fan of liver or sweet wine, even when they compliment each other. When I didn’t finish this course, our waiter actually cared enough to ask me why! Even though I didn’t like the foie gras coca, many other people who have reviewed Cinc Sentits disagree with me about it. Apparently, it’s a menu highlight. If you enjoy foie gras, it will probably thrill you as much as it did Bill. Personally, I didn’t like it.

I was much more into the third course, baby squid served with “arroz a banda”, “sofregit”, and saffron allioli. Our waiter described the rice as paella, but to me it looked more like a hushpuppie! This course was served with a dry Spanish white wine that complimented it beautifully. I didn’t have much time to linger on the third course, though, because it was quickly followed by the fourth course, sea bass served with peas and a mint scented sauce. Again, the chef came up with a combination that I might not have considered. The mint went so well with the sweetness of the peas and the sea bass. It was paired with another crisp white Spanish wine.

The fifth course was probably my favorite one of the meal. It was a mouthwatering Iberian suckling pig, paired with red-wine honey glaze and two types of crisp apple, was served with a flavorful red Spanish wine. Bill opted to have his pig with black truffles, while I had mine plain.

The sixth course was a choice between a palate cleansing sorbet or a cheese course. Bill had the cheese and I had the sorbet, which was served in a shot glass.

Dessert started with a blood orange sorbet with naval orange segments, candied kumquat, powdered honey and garnished with Pop Rocks! As a server set the dish in front of us, she commented that if we listened, we could hear the popping of the candy. I have to admit, the Pop Rocks were certainly an interesting addition to this dessert and the blood orange sorbet was very refreshing and not too filling.

The second half of dessert was called chocolate 67% “Grand Cru”. It consisted of a small cup of olive oil ice cream (which tastes much better than it sounds) served with macadamias, “shattered bread”, and a warm chocolate sauce. Once again, there was a salty finish with rock salt at the bottom, which was well matched by the sweetness of the chocolate. This course came with a semi sweet dessert wine.

We thought we were finished eating, but there was one last course… called mandarin. The mandarin was served in a small glass with cardamom crumble, orange-blossom “air”, and passion fruit cream. It was paired with a sweet Spanish muscatel from Malaga.  Bill and I don’t usually like dessert wines that much, but we both agreed that the dessert wines we had at Cinc Sentits were very appropriately matched and enjoyable.

Final thoughts

If an eight course tasting menu isn’t your thing, I want to note that there are a few other options available at Cinc Sentits. However, I noticed that most of the patrons opted for the eight course meal and just about everybody seemed very satisfied with their choice to do so. This is a place where you can easily spend several hours and not get too full.

We left Cinc Sentits feeling very satisfied, although the experience did not come at a bargain price. Our meal, which consisted of two glasses of cava, two eight course meals with wine pairing, two bottles of sparkling water, and an extra 12 euro charge for black truffles and a tip, came to about $335. However, Bill and I both agree that this meal was among the best we’ve ever had in our lifetimes and the service was impeccable.  Even though $335 is a lot of money to us, we thought it was a fair price for what we got.

I would recommend Cinc Sentits to anyone visiting Barcelona who loves excellent, creatively prepared food and outstanding service. Just be sure to make reservations well ahead of time, plan to stay for at least two hours, bring lots of money, and an open mind!

Cinc Sentits’ Web site: http://www.cincsentits.com

Recommend this product? Yes

Kid Friendliness: No
Vegetarian Friendly: No
Notes, Tips or Menu Recommendations This is a good place to indulge yourself. Go for the eight course tasting menu with a wine pairing!
Best Suited For: Romantic Evening