Saturday, January 05, 2013

Ceci n'est pas un bar a tapas - tickets, Barcelona

Last year I tried to hit the hottest tapas bar in the world, but unfortunately, they were closed. And if they weren't closed, there was anyway, I was told, a two month waiting list. Luckily the chef's girlfriend was able to fit me in with a two day notice this time around.

Tickets, as the Adria brothers new project is called, their first post El Bulli restaurant, is an experimental tapas place housed in a former theatre and with a marked circus-y theme (Maitre d' in top hat at the door, etc). It was relatively surprising, even though the Spanish eat quite late, to find that this, the hottest restaurant in town, was empty from 7pm-9pm, after which time groups and families flooded the space for pre-Christmas dinners and office parties.

The concept is pretty simple: classic and experimental small dishes, brought out until you say stop. The staff is happy to help out with choosing how much to eat and what to drink depending on you, and we devoured a large part of the menu (15 dishes or so) before saying stop.

It went something like this (some photos here)

ticket's olives (direct from El Bulli), two different types of sphere filled with olive essence (Gordal and Kalamata)

Seaweed tempura with vinaigrette jus

"Mini airbags" with manchego cheese

Salad taco with sea bass ceviche, i.e. the "taco" was a salad leaf

Razor clams in escabeche, saffron pearls and soy sauce "shards"

Avocado cannelloni with crab and romesco sauce (i.e. the ultimate crab/avocado maki)

Crostini with Cantabrian anchovy and tomato seeds

Razor thin tuna belly with a dollop of sea urchin

"Christmas" tapas with smoked beef and beetroot gelé

Tandori style fish cakes

Baby calimari "straight from El Bulli"

Steamed brioche with truffled cheese

Tuna belly confit with traditional escabeche

"High level" sirloin steak

Liquid cheese ravioli (payoyo cheese)

Truffled Canarejal cheese torta

Cheese and honey cupcake with strawberry ice cream

I've probably forgotten a few things along the way, but this is a great place for those who never got to try El Bulli and those who have Adria withdrawal symptoms, as well as for globetrotting gastronauts looking for a novel new hot table.