Sucede — Valencia, Spain
Miguel Ángel Mayor, the strapping head chef at Sucede, finally has a restaurant space that is as slick and streamlined as his cooking.
This is not to say that interior designer Francesc Rifé has completely erased all traces of the previous iteration (which, incidentally, he had also designed in 2010). Sensibly, the Barcelona-based Rifé has left intact the imposing ruins of the 12th-century watchtowers and walls that once wrapped around Valencia, allowing the exposed brickwork to serve as both room dividers and dramatic art pieces.
Over this ancient patina, he layers monochromatic green, black-stained oak slats, and 500-year-old Valencian ceramics. The restaurant’s centrepiece is a new show kitchen, accessed through a corridor of grey smoked glass and a Gothic arch.
Here, Mayor – an El Bulli alumnus – orchestrates playful, but beautifully plated tasting menus influenced by Valencia’s Roman, Christian and Arabic gastronomic history, a conceit seen to best effect in the mojama and hedgehog cookie, and lupine stew infused with pear wine.§