Barcelona’s restaurant Disfrutar awarded Best New European Restaurant 2016

‘Disfrutar’ restaurant in Barcelona has been awarded Best New European Restaurant 2016 in the prestigious Opinionated About Dining (OAD) rankings. The restaurant has also made a breakthrough appearance in the Best European Restaurant ranking, coming in at number 38. The three founders of the restaurant, chefs Eduard Xatruch, Oriol Castro and Mateu Casañas, worked together for 15 years as disciples of Ferran Adrià in the kitchen of ‘El Bulli’, which was five times awarded best restaurant in the world. Indeed ‘Disfrutar’ achieved its first Michelin star last year and two Repsol suns, along with the ‘Restaurant of the Year’ Award given by the Catalan Academy of Gastronomy and Nutrition. This recognition is to be added to the 50 Michelin-star-holding restaurants in Catalonia, 22 of which are located in Barcelona. 

'Disfrutar' chefs Mateu Casañas, Oriol castro i Eduard Xatruch (by ACN)
'Disfrutar' chefs Mateu Casañas, Oriol castro i Eduard Xatruch (by ACN) / ACN


May 24, 2016 07:29 PM

Barcelona (CNA).- Barcelona’s new restaurant ‘Disfrutar’ (‘Enjoy’), run by chefs Eduard Xatruch, Oriol Castro and Mateu Casañas, has won the award for Best New European Restaurant in the prestigious Opinionated About Dining (OAD) ranking. In the overall ranking of Best European Restaurants, ‘Disfrutar’ breaks into the list at number 38. The three chefs started this project after spending 15 years together at five-time winner of best restaurant in the world, ‘El Bulli’, by Ferran Adrià. Last year, ‘Disfrutar’ won its first Michelin star and was added to the 50 restaurants in Catalonia which currently hold this recognition. In addition, the Catalan Academy of Gastronomy and Nutrition also named it ‘Restaurant of the Year’.


‘Disfrutar’ has emerged as the best new restaurant, surpassing Alchemist in Copenhagen (Denmark), AM from Alexandre Mazza in Marseille (France), Lido 84 in Gardone Riviera (Italy), Neige d'été in Paris (France), Pages in Paris (France), Seta in Milan (Italy), Souvenir in Ypres (Belgium), and Tokuyoshi in Milan (Italy).

‘Disfrutar’ is the brainchild of the last three chefs at El Bulli, who spent over 15 years sharing experiences in the kitchen of the restaurant of Ferran Adrià and Juli Soler. Indeed, their project has a 27-course degustation menu and follows El Bulli’s philosophy. Its proposition revolves around a tasting menu and a clearly avant-garde style kitchen where dishes stand out for their distinctly Mediterranean personality.

In short, this has been categorised as a restaurant with bold, fun and modern cuisine, dedicated to the research of taste as their main premise. The design of the establishment also received an awarded in 2015, winning the Interior Restaurant & Bar Design category.

Short trajectory, yet numerous awards

The ‘Disfrutar’ project has also accumulated other recognitions in the world of cooking. In November, when the restaurant’s one-year anniversary was celebrated, it received its first Michelin star in the Michelin Guide, and was recognised with two suns in the Repsol Guide. In addition, the Catalan Academy of Gastronomy and Nutrition chose it as ‘Restaurant of the Year’.

“Awards like these are gifts that life gives you; for us, who have only been open for a year and a half, it is unthinkable to receive this award and to appear at number 38 on such an important list” stated one of the creators of the ‘Disfrutar’ restaurant, Eduard Xatruch.

60 Michelin stars in Catalonia

There are currently 50 Catalan restaurants which have been awarded by Michelin Guides, 22 of which are located in Barcelona. In total, they hold 60 Michelin stars. El Celler de Can Roca, which has been considered the best restaurant in the world, and Carme Ruscalleda's Sant Pau both hold the maximum distinction: three Michelin stars. Six restaurants currently hold two Michelin stars and 42 have been distinguished with one.

The country with the highest number of Michelin-star-holding restaurants is currently France, with more than 600 awarded restaurants in total.

Ferran Adrià’s innovative and five-time winner of best restaurant in the world ‘El Bulli’ produced three leading chefs, Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas who were also awarded and recognised with their first Michelin star in November for ‘Disfrutar’.

How is the OAD list determined?

The OAD ranking is a selection of what the organisation considers to be the 100 best restaurants in Europe, revealed and awarded at a gala in Copenhagen. An establishment can be eligible only on the condition that it opened after the 1st of January 2013. ‘Disfrutar’, a Barcelona restaurant inaugurated at the end of 2014, has won this recognition, and in doing so has surpassed eight other restaurants that also joined the list. In addition, the restaurant chefs Xatruch Eduard Oriol Castro and Mateu Casañas have broken into the OAD Best European Restaurant ranking at number 38.

OAD describe ‘Disfrutar’ as worthy of the New European Restaurant 2016 because of a cuisine that might be described as “neo-molecular”, and takes after Ferran Adrià’s cuisine as a “combination of types of parlour tricks, sleight of hand and surrealistic creations”. However, OAD also add that unique to ‘Disfrutar’ is its “more straightforward approach to cuisine, in which high-quality ingredients are brought to perfection using contemporary techniques”. “It makes for an interesting evening that extends from creations like spherical olives to dishes like pigeon with sweet potatoes and crispy pancetta”, concludes the OAD review, paying special notice to the establishment’s “gorgeous” dining room and “fabulous courtyard”.