stagier Bar Palma
The bar is a restaurant. And a very fine little one at that!
Google is right!
The only thing wrong with stagier Bar Palma, in my opinion, is the name. It's not a bar, it's a restaurant. And a really good one at that. A little gem that you have to dig a long time to find. Which opened boldly and unexpectedly three years ago on the main street in Santa Catalina. But I had never noticed it until a friend suggested we meet there with another friend. And do you know why? He tried my old principle: search Google Maps for a restaurant with a rating greater than 4.5, which - watch out - does not include 4.5. Try that, and you'll quickly notice that the selection brutally collapses.
aren't we all trainees?
By the way, the stagier bar has 4.7 currently. And that - to anticipate - absolutely deserved. By the way, the name "stagier" means an apprentice in high-end gastronomy, in French it is the stagiaire.
stagier Bar Palma: The tasting menu
Three men at a small table. The guest room with 5-7 tables configurable. The open kitchen behind a counter directly at the guest room. One young woman in the service, two masters in the kitchen. That was the setup. The guest room at 19:30 still almost empty. On the table was a brown piece of paper. With the tasting menu.
I notice that normally there are tasting menus only with chefs who are really something. And want to make it possible for the guest to understand what can be served in the range of their creativity in one evening. Ideally with a wine accompaniment. Our colleagues had already ordered the wine, a white Gelabert with a lot of kick. We spontaneously decided to order the tasting menu for everyone.
Guys, I'll be brief! For 60 Euros, they fire off a firework of flavors and textures. There's a rattling in the woodwork! Not even everything is perfect down to the last detail. But it is a kitchen with passion, which is simply fun! The toasted bread under the tomato tartar can be a bit soggy. But hey, that was so the maximum noticeable error content. And the tomato tartare, to stay with the example, was a stunner.
The chefs have learned in South America and in the most exciting culinary regions of Spain: Basque Country, Valencia and Catalonia. They are inspired by "our roots" and mix "Latin American and Mediterranean flavors". And: we have dedicated ourselves to a "tasty, simple and elegant" cuisine. And that, by the way, is exactly the essence.
That sounds insanely intellectual. But it really describes exactly what they do here with a minimum of words. They work with a high intensity of flavors. Basically, they have simple but good ingredients. And are especially in the optical presentation unerringly elegant. This is not about star cuisine. It's about a great evening with a maximum of enjoyment.
Foie Gras and you fly higher
By the way, the signature dish was outstanding: the foie gras. The chefs knew how to stage this insanely heavy, politically extremely incorrect little delicious piece of foie gras in such a way that you would have loved to order more of it. According to the motto "less is more" was very finely seasoned here. And also only a thin layer of the foie gras was used, which together with the flatly applied fresh chives led to the fact that the fine flavors of the foie gras were famously complemented by the slight sharpness of the chives. The interesting sides of the flavors intensified, and the sometimes unpleasant characteristics of both products receded into the background. Refined! And at an exceedingly high level!
The super long cooked Wagyu was delicious. BUT: the absolute highlight was the sauce. An explosion of the finest flavors with a hammer on the taste center. Only: why then this noble meat? I'm sorry to say that I could have had an old cow from Buxtehude put on my plate, given the shape of the sideboard I probably wouldn't have noticed. By the way, the purrée of celeriac and pickled onion was a dream. Elegant. Wonderfully creamy texture. But without being too heavy. Simply perfect. Honestly, only the purée and the sauce and the chefs would have given me a happy evening....
Then the pre-dessert and there I would like to break first of all a lance for this glorious idea, after the hearty rather borrowed from the French cuisine course now with passion fruit, coconut and mint to shoot a few fruity and fresh flavors afterwards. And I'm sticking with this strong rethoric because it felt the same in the first moment. And then very quickly, your taste buds pivot and adjust to the new challenge. And is happy.
Kitchen to be happy
So: A rather strong cuisine overall, very aromatic, strongly spiced, perhaps objectively sometimes a touch too much. Something happens. It is surprising. Sometimes almost vicious. Always delicious in itself and always you recognize the sense in the combination.
Do you want to enjoy? Or are you looking for perfection? That's the question you have to answer beforehand. Because for 60 euros you will find in my opinion few places where you get so much offered. So much variety, creativity and passion. But if you are more in the mood for perfection (which is already a linguistic paradox ...), then you might prefer to go to a gourmet restaurant.
But if this concept appeals to you, and I am sure that it will make 95% of all people happy, then go there. And don't even look at the menu. Instead, take an evening and order the tasting menu like we did and go home happy.