Getting a reservation at Next for the El Bulli menu?
A few questions:
1. I hear that for El Bulli, you will likely need to buy tickets in conjunction with season tickets (i.e. also buying tickets for Kyoto and Sicily). Is this true, and if so, can the tickets for Kyoto and Sicily be transferred to someone else if you cannot make it to Chicago later?
2. How hard will it be to get tickets online through their website? Is it easier to get tickets in person?
3. Is there anything else that's useful to know regarding this? I know El Bulli tickets are going to be extremely difficult to get, so I am not getting my hopes up, but I'd at least like to know the battlefield before I jump into the fray.
Tickets for elBulli Next menu will be pricey - at the moment the guess is @$950 for two for meal, pairings, tax and tip. If pairings are optional, that would decrease the fee by about $300 for two. ( We did the nonalcoholic pairing for Childhood and really enjoyed it but for elBulli you might want to full schmear!)
Next is going to do only one seating and will presell almost all tables but will keep a few each ight back for "day of" sales - including one each night that will be auctioned with the money going to the Univ of Chicago cancer center that treated Chef Achatz.
If the past is any guide, the presell tix will be gone in minutes ... I managed to get Next tickets within minutes of them going on sale and by about an hour later the full 3 months was sold out. WIth only one seating for elBulli, these will go faster. That said, Next allows you to resell your tickets -- see their website for details since you have to provide documentation of the ticket transfer.
All tickets sell on the Next website -there's no other place or way to buy. And you should register at the site and save your credit card info etc so you can move super fast when you hear they are on sale.
Keeping an eye on the Next facebook page and twitter feed can lead to unexpected openings - and they do announce the same day sales on facebook so you theoretically can try each day of elBulli (but you'd need to be able to get to Chicago by dinner time!).
I'm sure it will be stunning ... good luck!
To add a bit to the above post, Next has announced one must order pairings (can be non-alcoholic, but this will not lower the price) for El Bulli - so tickets for two will be just over $950 (including tax, tip, food, beverages). Next seats 64 people - and El Bulli will just have one seating per night (as the meal likely will be about 32 courses and 4 hours or so long). They have announced 50 seats per night will go to season ticket holders, 12 per night to same-day-sales, and 2 per night will be auctioned (the auctions will occur in advance, rather than day off). No tickets are available in person - only off Next's website (though people can sell their tickets to others).
It is not clear how fast the tickets will go once released (they are supposed to be released at some point this month, but nobody know when). While in the past tickets have gone fast, the season tickets will be much more expensive than past tickets costs (for individual meals) and with the 2012 menus running nearly four months each, this might be a very large ticket sale despite the one seating per night.