Oriol Ivern Bondia and Guillem Pla wowed their fellow chefs when they opened Hisop in 2001 to serve radically reinvented Catalan cuisine at bargain prices. Pla has moved on, but Ivern keeps Hisop percolating in a more streamlined style, constantly reimagining the flavors of the region in pure, unmuddled form. This results in some marvelously stripped-down dishes—whole grilled red mullet with a zucchini flower, or a john dory with cockles steamed in a vanilla broth. There is suckling pig, but it’s made all the more unctuous by an accompaniment of roasted plums. The menu changes four times a year, with weekly adjustments. (What chef can resist the tomato harvest or a seasonal fish spawn?) Hisop’s desserts are equally brilliant combinations of flavors—peach with ginger and coffee, chocolate with basil and almonds, pistachio with kaffir lime.
- Frommer's Staff