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May 22, 2007 02:02 PM

Advice please, re: El Bulli

I am an English girl about to get married to my long-term boyfriend in August of this year and I would love to surprise him with a reservation at the 'World's Best Restaurant'. I realise it is incredibly difficult to get reservations at El Bulli but I am pleasantly surprised by the number of Chow Hounds who have eaten there and wondered if anyone has any tips? I don't think camping outside the restaurant is an option as I have a full time job, any other ideas? I would be very grateful to here from anyone who has 'won the lottery.'

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  1. Well..... if I were you, I would send Sr. Garcia (Resv Manager) an email, explaining the situation - if he's a chef or foodie or if you've dined at any of the competition, let them know & let them know how much you want him to experience the 'World's Best' as your wedding present to him. Ask them to please check if any cancels & to please advise you if ANYTHING opens up. I'd keep sending one every month - it's worth a try. Good

    1. For what it's worth, I think there are other options in the "Top 10" which are easier to get into and worth as much (if not more) as an experience in EB, particularly in a situation like the one you describe.
      For istance, If I were you I would look into spending a weekend in Laguiole, staying in Michel Bras' hotel and having at least one meal there.

      1. They get something on the order of half a million requests for something
        like 10,000 seatings. That's about a 2% success rate. So chances this year
        are slim. They begin taking reservations for next year about mid October, when
        odds might be slightly better.

        But why not stay home and give him an equally nice meal of spruce foam and bacon
        ice cream at the Fat Duck, and then take a real Chowtour through Spain later?
        Spain really does have some of the "World's Best" chow, and while some of it
        is located near the Mediterrainean, once you get into the interior that's when things
        really start to take off.

        1. I've heard of last-minute cancellations (they request re-confirmation about 10 days ahead) - but to be "in the area" waiting for a phone call that might never come, is probably not feasible for you.
          You might consider the Fat Duck (as mentioned by Chuckles - call them right now for August) as it's also ranked up there.
          Or possibly Hacienda Benazuza in Sanlucar la Mayor (near Seville). Its menu is 'El Bulli's Greatest Hits' and is overseen by El Bulli - although the chef himself is obviously at the main place (the chef in Sanlucar previously worked at El Bulli) - it's a much easier reservation but is not included in the 'world's best' list - except my experience there was the equal of El Bulli itself (lacked some of the highs and lows, but still many of the great dishes, and more consistent).

          1. There's also can Roca, which is a wonderful experience in itself & I believe #11 on the list.