Published with permission from LuxuryWeb.com
In Catalonia, Spain, the abundance of Michelin-starred establishments is evident. Yet, it’s often the unassuming tascas, local eateries, and secluded havens that serve dishes rivaling Michelin’s finest without the formal recognition.
Nestled atop Triassic limestone cliffs overlooking a serene river, lies Siurana, a charming medieval mountain town. With just 32 steadfast inhabitants, its crown jewel is La Siuranella — an intimate eight-room boutique hotel complemented by a breathtaking restaurant and pool. For guests, breakfast is part of the package, but it’s the restaurant that truly stands out. It promises a genuine taste of Tarragona’s culinary arts, but with a modern flair, all at an inviting price.
Historically, Siurana with its imposing fortress was home to Spain’s last Moorish King, and the final Moorish bastion in Catalonia. The cliff-top view is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
The ViaMichelin guide exalts this restaurant as a must-visit for anyone in Priorat — a sentiment I wholeheartedly share. To me, it merits a detour even if you’re anywhere within Catalonia.
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Menu offerings shift frequently, echoing the rhythms of the season and availability of fresh produce. Yet, it’s not devoid of innovative dishes featuring ingredients not typical to Catalonia. As per the owners, “Even our most frequent diners won’t taste the same dish twice, unless specially requested.”
During one of my visits, the “Creative menu” paired with select wines left an indelible mark. The amuse-bouche — a cold steamed octopus complemented by a tangy garlic-citrus aioli — was delightful. Then came the unconventional green olives stuffed with aspic, followed by a standout flan of foie gras adorned with sautéed pineapple slivers and almond slices, all draped in a curry-citrus glaze.
As a seafood aficionado, their ceviche rendition, with salmon and king prawn mingled with cucumber and yogurt, crowned with salmon roe and cilantro, and drenched in olive oil, was pure joy. The subsequent dish, monkfish enveloped in a velvety cauliflower sauce dotted with black olives, was equally memorable.
The crowning moment, however, was purely theatrical. With the table set with a white plastic sheet, the pâtissier transformed it into a canvas, crafting an edible masterpiece right before us. It was reminiscent of watching a master painter — evoking the genius of famed Catalan surrealists Joan Miró and Salvador Dali.
The wine selection predominantly hails from regional domains of Montsant and Priorat. Our chosen white, Mas Collet Blanc — a blend of Garnacha Blanca and Macabeo from Monsant — perfectly complemented the seafood. It’s aromatic with pronounced acidity. The red, Lluna Vella from Priorat D.O, comprised entirely of Garnacha Tinta. Both these wines, reasonably priced, are accessible in the U.S.—the red at under $25 and the white below $20.
Els Tallers Restaurant
C. Rentadors, s/n Siurena
Comudella de Montsant (Tarragona) Spain
Tel: (+34) 977-82-1144
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