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Tickets and 41 degrees

estufarian Jul 3, 2012 06:34 AM

Sorry for the urgency - I had assumed that the Tickets menu would be essentially a sub-set of the 41 degrees 'experience' - so had decided not to do both.
However, recently saw this on a blog:

"This new 41 Grados will not be similar to Tickets, the brothers’ contemporary “tapas bar” next door, but much more ambitious and daring in its gastronomic explorations."

I'm not interested in just chalking up 'stars' (I know they don't have them yet) - just in enjoying the best I can find. And I'm only 60+ days out, so can anybody help whether the two places are sufficiently different to warrant trying both?

Thanks

  1. estufarian Sep 6, 2012 10:08 AM

    OK. Just got back!

    41° was the best dining 'experience' of my life (so far).

    Not only is the food amazing, but the attention paid to the other senses is probably incomparable (and may only be possible in a tiny restaurant).

    The 'meal' follows a theme of 'a trip around the world' starting and ending in Spain. Although starting times are slightly staggered, there are only 5 tables (incidentally an extra seat was placed at 1 table of 4 to allow for a 5th person - but not sure the tables for two would really seat an extra (unless REALLY close friends)).

    There is a constantly changing 'projection' of images and shapes on a hanging 'frieze' that winds around the restaurant and a sound scape (music plus) that continues throughout. But the astonishing thing is that the sounds and light are also choreographed with the food.

    For example, when travelling 'foodwise' to Japan, the images are very reminiscent of Japan (some are specific) and the soundtrack evokes Japan as well!

    When we commented on this, and its implications for possible changing of individual dishes (clearly extremely difficult) we were told (and believed) that the potential exists to change any individual dish based on availability of the freshest ingredients, but they stay within the overall theme for that part of the journey.

    The room holds 16 people (nominally) but only 13 actually made it our night (but tables were held for the non-attendees - nobody was allowed in as the reservations were prepaid. But the staff seemed genuinely disappointed - service was absolute perfection.

    And we saw about 13 people serving - there may be additional chefs in the kitchen (NOT incidentally shared with Tickets).

    And the food was exquisite - yet at the same time playful. We were particularly entertained by the Scandinavian portion of the journey. And only a nod to the 'gimmicks that made El Bulli famous' - and sometimes almost a parody.

    My favourite course (on the night) was one of the simplest - Joselito 4 year-aged Iberico ham wrapped around a hollow cigar-shaped cracker that one ate - how else, like chomping on a cigar. The perfection of the ham (now on my list for my death-bed meal) supplemented by the crunchiness and airiness of the cracker was brilliantly simple.

    Tickets (3 nights later) was again vastly entertaining - again it's all about the experience - and much more casual (incidentally about a dozen people without reservations on a Tuesday night did manage to get in by arriving at 7:00 when they open).

    A bit more hustle and bustle and only a few dishes overlapped - even then only slightly, with different presentations. For example the 'famous' olives in Tickets were exactly as I recalled - but apparently came in more than one 'version' (although I didn't order them). In the 41° version, they contained an anchovy!

    Orders in Tickets are 'a la carte' - although the servers offer to make a selection for you. We were specific in our requests and everything was excellent. Would definitely return, although would take 41° over Tickets anytime.

    And a last comment for those who can't get a table for two (although there are rumours that a reconfiguration is in the works). Our meal at 41° cost about half of our last meal at Alinea (including wine pairings at both). This is not to knock Alinea - but we could have acquired a table for 4 at 41° for the same price as for two at Alinea. And the meal at 41° was a significantly better experience - so if you have dined (or are prepared to dine) at Alinea don't hesitate to pay for 4 at 41° even if only two of you (and I'm a Grant Achatz fan - having dined with him on double-digit occasions). You may even be able to sell-off the other half to fellow Chowhounders!

    1. foodeditormargaux Aug 26, 2012 10:31 AM

      41 is a stand up tapas tavern in a vanguard setting ... Tickets is awesome, however 41 is where one can experience Barcelona scene ...

      8 Replies
      1. re: foodeditormargaux
        estufarian Aug 26, 2012 11:11 AM

        You may be a bit out-of-date here.
        Until 11:00pm 41 degrees(grados) has 5 tables (3*4, 2*2) - which can only be reserved as full tables. And it only serves a 41 'taste experience' during that time.....unless they've changed it again!

        1. re: estufarian
          foodeditormargaux Aug 27, 2012 07:57 AM

          Since I do not live in Barcelona, I only do frequent business there, I am uncertain. It is always changing.

          However, in all honesty, I do not like to suggest restaurants to people I do not know, as their palates can be so finicky and distinct ... I would however, highly suggest CARME RUSCADELLA ´s RESTAURANT and JOAN ROCA´s who I know very well verses 2 nites of Alex Adriá, as fond of his concoctions as I am ... CARME AND JOAN ARE IN ANOTHER PLATEAU ...

           
          1. re: foodeditormargaux
            l
            Luna2308 Aug 27, 2012 08:27 AM

            As far as I know was more a bar with small plates in the beginning but you still needed reservations.
            I went there last year, first to 41 and after that to Tickets and they were quite different experiences.
            However, they completely changed their concept this year and now have, as estufarian stated, a very exclusive multi (41) course dinner and very limited tables per night. Later in the evening it serves as a bar again as well.
            And, by the way, as far as I know Ferran Adria's brother is called Albert, not Alex.

            1. re: foodeditormargaux
              estufarian Aug 27, 2012 08:50 AM

              Thanks for all your recent posts - I certainly appreciate them.
              I hope that you will continue to offer advice - the recent flurry of posts by you certainly establishes your preferences. I am sure you can become an even more valuable resource when your posts are even more 'tailored' to posters.
              For example, my profile shows my favourite all-time meal to have been at Carme Ruscalledas! If anybody else is even attempting such cuisine I'd certainly appreciate a heads-up.
              Joan Roca I'm in two minds about - some amazing ideas/concepts but the realization hasn't (for me) always matched the concept. But well worth a visit - except they're currently closed for vacation, so my schedule hasn't permitted a visit this year.

              In about a week's time I'll be able to judge for myself whether the Adriá places are 'in the same league'. Including a return visit to Sant Pau.

              1. re: foodeditormargaux
                Parigi Aug 27, 2012 10:51 AM

                "I do not like to suggest restaurants to people I do not know"

                Does this mean you know everybody on this board?

                1. re: Parigi
                  SnackHappy Aug 27, 2012 11:51 AM

                  Yeah, the whole point of Chowhound is recommending restaurants to people you don't know.

                  1. re: Parigi
                    foodeditormargaux Aug 28, 2012 06:43 AM

                    For: Parigi

                    Recommending a restaurant, a wine, a cheese, a film, a play at the theatre; all could be perceived postively or negatively ... Very complex. I have never met anyone on the Forum personally. To move on to your enquiry; I am European and thus, have a distinct palate and food culture than most North Americans. I am Mediterranean and thus, this also is a specific taste profile ...

                    Professionally, I am a journalist and thus, review restaurants and tapas bars, trattorias, cafés etcetra and interview Chefs on a weekly basis. This does provide me with a bit of advantage and I have eaten in uncountable restaurants & unfortunately even if a chef is a cool dude, does not make him or her a great Chef !

                    I am a face to face woman, a forum does not provide a smile, or understanding someone that you have never met, or spoke with and is 100% different than you.

                    This is why I do not like providing advice on forums.

                    Estufarian: These are places I have enjoyed more than the ones mentioned in the original post. And have stunning ambiances verses ice cold ones.

                    Margaux Cintrano.

                    1. re: foodeditormargaux
                      Parigi Sep 6, 2012 11:30 AM

                      "I am European and thus, have a distinct palate and food culture than most North Americans."

                      Everyone has a palate and food culture that is distinct from everyone else.
                      And this board is not made up of exclusively north Americans.
                      For example, I am not. I am Parisian.
                      Luckily for me, north Americans - and others - have been very generous in sharing their dining experience here, which has greatly benefited me. I don't always agree with their' recommendations, but often I do. And after a few posts, I have a concept about a person's palette and its idiosyncrasies. While palette compatibility is a real issue, I do not agree that it is defined by country borders.
                      In short, we are all from somewhere and have different food cultures. Nothing is insurmountable when it comes to sharing info, which is the raison d'être of a forum.

                      "I do not like to suggest restaurants to people I do not know"

                      "Professionally, I am a journalist and thus, review restaurants and tapas bars, trattorias, cafés etcetra and interview Chefs on a weekly basis."

                      So you do suggest restuarnats to people you do not know.

            2. n
              nmprisons Jul 3, 2012 09:03 AM

              Related: Is it even worth considering driving to Barcelona from San Sebastian to heat at 41 degrees? There are reservations available on the day we would want to go.

              8 Replies
              1. re: nmprisons
                estufarian Jul 3, 2012 10:25 AM

                I've checked the menus in detail - the overlap is small - so I guess I've answered my own question!

                We're flying over (booked on points after I got the reservation) - so my guess is 'probably worth it!'. However, you'll also have to drive back!

                But, our plan is lunch at Sant Pau, then the next evening at 41 degrees. And Sant Pau was my best meal ever!

                Maybe ask yourself whether you'd kick yourself later if you don't go. (and PS - totally unrelated - but relevant to our earlier discussions - meal at Atera last week was the best I've had in 10 years in North America - better than ALL meals at Alinea - still debating whether better than Trio).

                1. re: estufarian
                  f
                  friskygeek Jul 3, 2012 11:47 AM

                  Nice one on Tickets / 41 Degrees. I too am in your shoes. Headed there in Oct and plan on going to either Tickets or 41Deg... but leaning on 41 degrees as it seems to be the newer, more ambitious of the two as you said.

                  Re: Atera - Had dinner there earlier in June, whilst is was fantastic, it didnt blow me away... Glad you liked it tho! Do tell us about Tickets once you dine there.

                  f.

                  1. re: friskygeek
                    p
                    popcornandtoast Jul 9, 2012 06:08 PM

                    I went to Tickets Bar & 41 Degrees back in June 2012. Before my visit, I had read a post where someone had said there was some overlap so I thought a visit to one would suffice.

                    My personal experience - on the night we went to 41 Degrees, the only course that overlapped was the chocolate rock, a dessert I had ordered at Tickets Bar. The rest of the 50 courses at 41 Degrees were mostly distinct from the offerings at Tickets Bar. And it's a completely different dining experience.

                    41 Degrees is a seamless almost theatrical experience when they are mixing up the cocktails, there are only 5 tables spread out in the small area and the mostly bite sized courses that come out are incredible, a real experience.

                    Tickets Bar on the other hand is a much more vibrant casual affair, similar in that everything is wonderfully delicious, but it doesn't have the story, the journey that 41 Degrees takes you on. I would highly recommend going to both as I absolutely loved both experiences.

                    41 Degrees is one I would only go back to if they did a complete refresh of the menu, just because of the pricing point. I thought Tickets Bar was really quite reasonable considering the freshness and the creativity of the food and we wished we could have gone back for a second visit to try the rest of the menu.

                    Photos from 41 Degrees: http://www.flickr.com/photos/popcornandtoast/sets/72157630403714978/ Photos from Tickets Bar: http://www.flickr.com/photos/popcorna...

                    We were ordering repeats of dishes at Tickets because they were that good. Highly recommend the tuna belly tartare and the mollete with double chin.

                    1. re: popcornandtoast
                      estufarian Jul 9, 2012 08:23 PM

                      Thank you.
                      That's really helpful - especially as I was able to get reservations at both. Clearly no need to cancel!

                      1. re: estufarian
                        p
                        popcornandtoast Jul 9, 2012 08:53 PM

                        Oh you are going to have a wonderful time! Apart from the chocolate rock, given you are conscious of the overlap, I will note the spherical olives were on the menu at both Tickets Bar & 41 Degrees during our visits. I didn't order the olives at Tickets Bar so was pleased to discover this on the menu at 41 Degrees. Our server told us the menu at 41 Degrees changes every month, but it will probably be a minor tweak of maybe 5-6 dishes. The menu changes are more noticeable where they change over from summer to winter. Our server at Tickets Bar also said the menu changes every month at Tickets but did not go into the specifics. Hopefully they will be quite distinct experiences for you too! Have a wonderful time and hope to hear back on how you fared.

                        1. re: popcornandtoast
                          estufarian Jul 10, 2012 06:39 AM

                          The olive is almost cliched now. I prefer the 'caviar' version - find it a better mouth feel and is also amenable to (for example) mix 'n match different flavours.
                          And I have 3 days between the two experiences so will have plenty of time to enjoy variations in styles. Not sure I'm prepared to jot down notes on 30+ courses - but will happily respond (as usual) on the experiences.

                          And, of course, for those who plan ahead, it clearly is possible to book these places - despite other threads mentioning the difficulty in reserving. Skipping Can Roca on this trip as it's closed for vacation. But did get into Sant Pau (my best meal of last 10 years anywhere in world).

                      2. re: popcornandtoast
                        f
                        friskygeek Jul 10, 2012 07:46 AM

                        Brlliant review and awesome pictures! Thank you! Cant wait for our trip to Tickets & 41 in October. Gonna do both as well.

                        1. re: popcornandtoast
                          m
                          mikey8811 Jul 15, 2012 07:30 AM

                          Nice pics. It looks like they changed the Tickets menu a fair bit from 9 months ago. I only had about 5 dishes which overlapped with yours and i would have ordered some of yours had I seen them then.

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