You barely even have to enter The Greenhouse to forget that you’re only a few steps away from the center of Barcelona. Once you cross the threshold that divides the Hotel Pulitzer with this recently opened restaurant, the scenery changes and the bustling exterior disappears. You feel like, without realizing it, you’ve taken an airplane and arrived at a timeless place with a Nordic feel, a quality atmosphere that’s at the same time familiar.
The first thing that called our attention was the feel of the place. Plants that hang from the ceiling and from the walls, modern lamps that run up and down the place with their faint, warm glow, and large windows and mirrors that illuminate and fill the space with natural light. It’s full of details that, altogether, give the feeling of being in the middle of a sort of greenhouse.
In charge of the kitchen, you’ll find the renowned Australian chef Damien Bolger, who tells us about the concept behind the menu and the restaurant. “Creative food with local and seasonal ingredients” is the precise description that you might find at The Greenhouse. Dishes where the real stars are the vegetables, and innovative cuisine where the selection and treatment of the products are the keys to achieving pure flavors.
Bolger speaks with so much passion and conviction about the ideas that envelop the new kitchen, that you only have to imagine the dishes he’s describing and your mouth will start to water.
Don’t be confused when we say vegetables are the protagonists, though. The Greenhouse is not a vegetarian restaurant. The seafood and meats are also present throughout the menu, but in a different way than we’re used to, and overall, very original.
The first dish that arrives to our table is a salad of seasonal tomatoes, fermented strawberry juice, and basil. Tomatoes with an intense red color that taste like true tomatoes (pardon the redundancy), a dish that’s just as delightful to look at as it is to eat.
We continue with the star of the evening: broccoli, grapefruit, and an emulsion of mussels and aromatics. A dish that’s an ode to the color green and that plays with flavors of citrus, sweet, and umami. We savor it from beginning to end, without wanting it to end.
We finish the first and second rounds with a dish of Jerusalem artichoke, dates, kumquats and a meat jus. Soft and delicate flavors that are strengthened by the jus and create an interesting contrast with the fruity and acidic flavor of the kumquat.
The time for dessert arrives, and our expectations are high after the incredible performances from the plates that have already been presented.
Churros with a tonka bean ice cream and fermented strawberries with basil and lime are presented to our table. Two delicious and completely different desserts, but between them a grand finale to this incredible experience for our palates.
In summary, a kitchen that invites us to try little-known ingredients and to allow ourselves to be surprised by their fusion of flavors that changes each season.
All this is found in a relaxed atmosphere with service that’s a perfect 10. A location to return, no doubt, over and over again.
Average menu price: 40€
Tasting menu (8 courses): 60€
Lunch menu: 16,50€
Hours: Monday: 1pm to 4pm / Tuesday to Friday: 1pm to 4pm, 7:30pm to midnight / Saturday: 7:30pm to midnight
Text: Kathrin Behrens
Photos: Anel González