velvet escape’s Culinary Journey: Castellar del Riu, Catalonia

log fire

Els Roures

What: Lunch in the Bergueda mountains.

Where: Restaurant Els Roures, Castellar del Riu, Catalonia (about 1.5 hours drive north of Barcelona)

Note: Els Roures is a popular restaurant among the Catalans. Located in Castellar del Riu, in the Bergueda mountains just north of Barcelona, this cosy restaurant serves a large variety of local specialities. We visited the restaurant for a lunch stop in the heart of the mushroom season. The first things that will grab your attention as you enter the restaurant are the warm wooden interior and the roaring log fire under a large round copper hood.

Chocolate caliente

Chocolate caliente

We sat next to the fire and had our first culinary highlight: hot chocolate or ‘chocolate caliente’. It’s not your every day hot chocolate; this version comes in an espresso cup and is syrupy, rather like melted dark chocolate. Picture this: it’s freezing outside and you’re sitting next to a warm, cosy fireplace. You pick up the small cup and gently lift a teaspoonful of the hot chocolatey syrup into your mouth. The warm chocolate sensation is simply heavenly, a true velvet escape! 🙂

Wild mushroom cannelloni

Wild mushroom cannelloni

To kick off the lunch, we were served a delicious jug of rosé sangria filled with wild berries. We then had a variety of local dishes as starters: cannelloni, grated tomato on toast, and cooked chick peas with wild mushrooms. The cannelloni stuffed with wild mushrooms in a creamy sauce was absolutely sublime, a true velvet escape highlight!

Yummy salad!

Yummy salad!

We were also served a big leafy salad with pomegranate, cheese and nuts and topped with a light vinaigrette and fresh thyme, rosemary and drops of honey.

Mushroom liquor

Mushroom liquor

The main course, stewed chicken in a creamy mushroom sauce was cooked to perfection. Just as we thought that we couldn’t possibly eat another ounce of anything, dessert arrived! Fluffy mascarpone with a delicious berry sauce. As a final treat, we were offered a mushroom liquor. I didn’t know such a thing existed! The strong mushroom aroma was unmistakable. It tasted sweet and err.. very mushroom-y. 🙂

If you’re visiting the mountains of Bergueda, I recommend stopping at Els Roures, near the town of Berga, for a delightful culinary experience.

Our visit to the Els Roures restaurant was sponsored by the Department of Tourism of Catalonia with the collaboration of Consorci Turisme de l’Alt Bergueda.

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15 Responses to “velvet escape’s Culinary Journey: Castellar del Riu, Catalonia”

  1. Jennifer Lo Prete 10/04/2010 3:16 pm
    #

    Thanks for the restaurant tip. I can’t wait to try it. I love hot chocolate here, although my children think it is a little too bitter and thick. http://www.orangepolkadot.com/my_weblog/2010/03/chocolate-milk.html

  2. velvet 10/04/2010 12:53 pm
    #

    I’m serious. That hot chocolate was to die for! Thanks Mei! 🙂

  3. cumidanciki 10/04/2010 12:50 pm
    #

    drool.. looks heavenly. hot chocolate so thick you could stand a spoon in it! 🙂

  4. velvet 06/02/2010 4:06 pm
    #

    Haha, we actually went for a two-hour hike in the mountains (it was minus ten degrees Celsius!) before lunch. I guess maybe that’s why that hot chocolate tasted soooo heavenly! 🙂 I’ll never forget that massive log fire too. And the food…. wow! Just awesome!

    Thanks for your comment.

    Best regards,
    Keith

  5. Donna Hull 06/02/2010 1:12 am
    #

    Oh, you had me when I read down to the picture of the hot chocolate. The entire meal sounds delicious but it’s the chocolate caliente that calls my name. Of course I would need to go hiking in the mountains after that sumptuous lunch.

  6. Fida 03/01/2010 4:41 am
    #

    ah, que bueno! I take the cannelloni and the salad. Oh, and of course sangria !

  7. Heather on her travels 31/12/2009 6:59 pm
    #

    Like the look of those pomegranate seeds in the salad – very festive and very Nigella Lawson!

  8. velvet 23/12/2009 10:58 am
    #

    Thank you for your comment.

    Best regards,
    Keith

  9. Timeshare Relief 23/12/2009 4:51 am
    #

    Most of the time timeshare relief travelers are doing great visit to Spain but we never get along to Catalonia. The next time we visit Spain its better to have visit in this place to have some taste of their specialties.

  10. Vacation Deals 23/12/2009 2:54 am
    #

    wow!
    yummy… chocolate caliente…
    for sure lot of readers will be amazed from your post..
    thanks for sharing that to us..

  11. velvet 22/12/2009 6:54 pm
    #

    Hi Angela, thanks for your comment. The chocolate caliente alone was worth the visit! 🙂

    Cheers,
    Keith

  12. Angela 22/12/2009 6:51 pm
    #

    This sounds wonderful… I will definitely visit next time I’m in the region, but the chocolate caliente sounds great now!

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