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.
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! 🙂
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!
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.
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.
Read more Culinary Journey articles: