Friday, 30 December 2011

San Esteban at Mar Blanc

For those of you who haven't heard yet, we've moved (yes AGAIN!) -- this time to Spain! Our new home is in the town of Castelldefels which is a short commute to my new job at Xing in Barcelona. I'll save you the story about all the stress and angst of leaving Berlin and moving here. Suffice it to say that we are glad it's over and that we're here.

We're really loving it here already and are starting to explore our new surroundings. A big plus is that it's a mere 1.25 hour flight between here and where my parents live. So much closer! We invited them over for a few days to celebrate Christmas and had a wonderful meal on Christmas day.

To close out the visit my parents wanted to treat us to lunch and asked for us to choose some place special. We chose Mar Blanc for a few reasons: 1) it sits right on the beautiful beach of Castelldefels; 2) they had Lobster Thermidor on their special San Esteban menu; and 3) most of the review we read on TripAdvisor were complentary of the food and restaurant.

The restaurant has three separate eating areas -- an outside terrace which would be fab in the sprint or summer but would have been too cold on this particular day, a downstairs dining room which is where we sat, and an upstairs dining room. When you walk in the front door you immediately face tanks where the live lobsters are kept before being cooked for you. The dining room is decorated with seaside paintings and other nautical adornments.

Here is the view from our table in the restaurant.

For a starter we were served hollowed out oranges filled with a salad and gulas. We accompanied this with some lovely cava.

Our first course choices were either seafood cannelloni or langostines. The cannellonis were flavourful and very rich, and the langostines were succulent and sweet, though a bit of work to remove the shells. Btw -- the best part of eating the langostines was sucking all the juice out of their heads. Yum!

For the second course we mostly went for the lobster thermidor, while my father decided to tackle the cochinillo (suckling pig). We were unanimously underwhelmed by the lobster -- it was dry and lacked flavour and the rich sauce you'd expect with a thermidor. On the other hand, the cochinillo was tender and flavoursome and served with a nice side of potato gallette.

Dessert was the traditional yule log, followed by an assortment of turrons.

Overall we loved the location and everything but the lobster which we felt should have been the star of the meal. I'd like to go back again and order things a la carte to see if it's any better.

Mar Blanc
Ribera de Sant Pere, 17 08860 Castelldefels
Web site