Based upon the description on Concierge.com, my husband and I recently dined at Tapioles 53 on December 29, 2009. This was one of our top five meals - ever! The evening began with a warm welcome and the opportunity to select our table upon entering the restaurant. The small space and kitchen make the space feel more as if you are eating in someone's home rather than a restaurant.
Roy, the server, gave us a small but comprehensive wine list and we began with a glass of cava. Kristan, the chef who has replaced Sarah while she is on maternity leave, personally came to each table, sat down and gave the evening's options of a five course tasting menu or a three course - two choice per course meal. After listening to the selections of both, we selected the five course tasting menu. Kristan then helped us select wines that would best match our choices and preferences (I like white and my husband prefers red) and then the evening unfolded like a dream.
Homemade bread was served with a bowl of olive oil and a small bowl of mixed spices. Delightful and flavorful, without being overpowering. Cava followed. (The bonus is that each diner receives a small packet of the spices upon leaving at the end of the evening.)
First course was porcini consomme, porcini brioche served with porcini butter. This combination highlighted the versatility of the porcini but also the depths of flavor especially the consomme.
The second course arrived with five perfectly round gnocchi of spinach and goat cheese. This is not traditional potato gnocchi but an exceptionally delicate layer of flour that was just lightly boiled to perfection. The cheese and spinach combined to make a perfect pair and each gnocchi is uniform and equally delicious.
This set us up for the most perfectly done quail. Delicate and deboned, the quail was exquisitely simply with finely sliced green beans.
Fourth course was a plate of three cheeses with jellies made in-house including red wine and quince. A lovely course that provided outstanding examples of the different flavors of Catalan cheese.
We selected gingerbread with pears and chocolate wish for dessert. The gingerbread was moist and truly unforgettable while the chocolate wish was a heavenly combination of texture and taste.
While the food was the obvious highlight, the service was beyond compare. Friendly and attentive but unobtrusive and effortless at the same time. We finished our evening with a glass of sherry with Kristan to celebrate an outstanding evening.
We highly recommend Tapioles 53! Make your reservations early as many people were turned away at the door thinking they could just walk in. Reservations 93-329-22-38. It is easy to get to using the Metro or a taxi cab.