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Tickets vs. Cinc Sentits + other Barcelona restaurant questions

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We will be in Barcelona for five days (2 days pre-cruise and 3 days after). 4 of these nights are Sundays and Mondays (very difficult restaurant wise as many good ones are closed).

Which brings me to my question: Which would you choose, Tickets or Cinc Sentits, if you could only choose one? (only one day, a Tuesday, are they open when we are there).

Some considerations: I have been to Cinc Sentits once before, 4 years ago, but this time I am going with my husband, who has never been to BCN. Cinc Sentits was AMAZING the first time, so I would not hesitate to book it again. I am also a huge fan of the Adria brothers, so it would be great to get to go to Tickets. But does it live up to the hype? Will I be happier with the more understated Cinc Sentits? Thanks for all opinions.

Also, here are some of my choices for the Sundays and Mondays (opinions on these appreciated too, too help me narrown them down):

Can Majo (lunch)
La Clara (dinner)
Quimet and Quimet (lunch)
Pinotxo (lunch)
Café de La'Academia (lunch)
Cera 23 (dinner)
Restaurant Etapes (dinner)
Quim (lunch)
Bohemic (dinner)

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  1. Have you looked at 41 degrees? (experiences menu)

    Capping off a trip which included amazing meals of Martin Berasetagui, Arzak, El Cellar De Can Roca, Asador Extebarri, Alkimia, and more - 41 degrees remains the most memorable and consistent (amazing feat considering it ends up being over 50 unique tastes)

    Best meal of my life, perhaps.

    On a different note altogether, we hated Quimet and Quimet. While it was slightly skewed, having come from San Sebastian, nothing we ate at Q&Q was great - and the shrimp appetizer was bland and low quality - and the mushroom croquettes cold in the middle.

    3 Replies
    1. re: gwh912

      Wow! My sentiments EXACTLY.
      41 degrees - best ever. Q&Q not worth the trip. Have now checked your profile and will be following your posts.

      To OP - Sorry, Sun & Mon are a disaster in Barcelona, but consider Moments (in Mandarin hotel) for LUNCH on the Tuesday.
      Tickets is good, but pales in comparison to 41 degrees.

      1. re: estufarian

        Thanks! Looking forward to making it back to Spain once work slows down a bit

        1. re: estufarian

          What about Sauc? It has a Michelin star and is open every day.

      2. A local recommended Roig Rubi in the Gracia area.

        1. Thanks for the feedback! I did look at 41 degrees - it was on the shortlist with Cinc Sentits and Tickets (Oh how I wish we could do them all - darn Sundays and Mondays, lol). But I kept hearing so much more about Tickets. So now instead of narrowing it down I have 3 to chose from! It will come down to whether I can score a reservation I suppose. (I'm not near the 2 month mark yet - I assume 41 has the same 2 month rule as Tickets?)

          6 Replies
          1. re: jacque536

            Yes, now 2 months- but your challenge is that reservations for Tickets & 41 degrees go on sale at exact same time - but Tickets sells out faster (both go on sale midnight Barcelona time).

            1. re: estufarian

              I have been trying Tickets for about a month now - learned of it too late - going in a few weeks - but I wasn't aware of 41 degrees being so much the better - and regrettably I haven't been trying them...

              I had Quim on my list for lunch - can you advise on Paco Meralgo, Embat on Mallorca, Arista (for coffee and dessert), and Ceruecenia Catalana please?

              1. re: smilingal

                Much info here on those spots; including my own reports on PacoMeralgo. I am a fan of Quim in the main market; you must get there very early to get a seat.

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/768881

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/769353

                1. re: erica

                  We had a great lunch at Paco Meralgo! Review on CH.

              2. re: estufarian

                Hi estufarian, I just want to make sure I'm clear on the reservations for Tickets. I'm based in NY so if I wanted to make a reservation for May 1st, I should be online at 6:00 pm February 28th?

                1. re: Pazzasop

                  That was correct at the date I posted - 6:00pm on East Coast was the time to book.
                  But I haven't checked recently, so suggest you do a 'trial' booking - without completing the transaction to make sure.

            2. Alkimia is open Mondays! This just made the list! Now...what to replace...

              1. Tickets and Cinc Sentis, and now 41 Degrees are also on my list for Barcelona this summer. Unfortunately, my adult sons are picky eaters (chicken, beef and cheese). If these restaurants only offer tasting menus I cannot take them. Do any offer "a la carte" menus? Perhaps we can enjoy one dinner as a family and then try a second restaurant without them.

                My original plan was to try Tickets as a family and take them elsewhere afterwards if they were still hungry. That would leave Cinc Sentis or 41 Degrees for dinner with my husband.

                One last question. Does the prepayment of 50 euro at 41 Degrees cover the 41 plate tasting menu or is that just a deposit to hold the reservation?

                Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

                13 Replies
                1. re: yellowbird8993

                  Found the answers to my questions online.

                  1. re: yellowbird8993

                    You'll be fine at Tickets - everything a la carte - your problem will be getting a reservation!

                    As an aside (for any other people who read this thread - you have the answers but other 'Hounds do not), the situation at 41 degrees when I went was full payment in advance - accordingly absolutely no walk-ins. Not sure whether they'll allow them now if someone 'defaults' on their deposit.

                    Incidentally they are entirely different venues - although when I went there were two dishes 'in common' - although even then I suspect slight differences anyway. So my recommendation is to do 41 degrees first - if you particularly like a specific dish, there's a chance it will also occur (in a slightly different form) at Tickets. For example we doubled up on the Jamon de Bellota (same ham, different presentation - 41 degrees was better), but skipped the spherical olives at Tickets - the ones at 41 degrees had an extra 'surprise'.

                    1. re: estufarian

                      Re 41 Degrees, how do you pay in advance without knowing what it's going to cost?

                      We've eaten at Tickets and now I wan to try 41.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        You make a deposit in advance to 'guarantee your reservation'. Fixed price is consistent each night (200€) and optional wine pairings (NOTE: Some beverages are already included) for 65€. Your bill will include a 'credit' for the deposit.
                        The hardest part is the reservation (especially for 2 people as only two doubles available) - but IMO the meal is worth risking the extra 200€ per person if you can only get a table for four. Plus you may find someone who will share your table.

                        1. re: estufarian

                          Thanks, e. Shame on me for not looking at their site. The idea of paying double in order to eat there is high praise indeed. But, as you say, it seems like there are people regularly looking.

                          1. re: estufarian

                            Did you do the wine pairings? Or do you recommend sticking with the cocktails?

                            1. re: jacque536

                              I did the wine pairings and thought them well worth the 65€.
                              However, I didn't look at the wine list in detail.
                              At Tickets I bought the Pazo Señorans Selección de Añada, which is one of my favourite whites (worldwide) - not cheap, but available!
                              I'm not really a cocktail person.

                              1. re: estufarian

                                Thanks! I'm more of a wine person myself too. Good to know the pairings were excellent.

                                PS: I looked up that white - Albarino...yum. Good to know. :)

                                1. re: jacque536

                                  Just a heads up - they have a 'regular' Albariño as well. BUT it is the Selección de Añada which is almost impossible to find in North America (or outside Spain). Costs about double (or more) but well worth the extra. Typically only found at the VERY upscale restaurants or finer wine stores. IMO the finest albariño I've ever tried. It's the only wine I brought back from Spain on my last 2 trips.

                            2. re: estufarian

                              I am sorry - I am still not familiar with exchange - but are you saying that the cost is over $200.00 US a person?

                              1. re: smilingal

                                200 E - so yes, more than 200 US. Still cheaper than Allinea or French Laundry or a number of others of similar calliber though.

                                1. re: smilingal

                                  Swallow hard - yes it is!
                                  Cost at Tickets depends on what one orders but expect about 75€ per person.
                                  I don't know how much you'd spend on a hotel, but I can hardly recall the details of any hotel (maybe a couple) who potentially charges more than that. But I'll never forget 41°!

                                  1. re: estufarian

                                    wow! hadn't realized the prices were that steep! Our trip to Barcelona and Rome is really centered around my food experiences, throwing in the sightseeing for good measure, but we shouldn't go for broke (stupid expression!)! We have reservations for Cinc Sentits for one night - we will be there for three nights. I have been trying to get reservations at either tickets or 41 degrees - but perhaps 41 degrees might be a wish for a return visit. It won't matter if I can't get the reservations anyway!

                      2. Okay, here is my updated list. Please critique!!

                        Sunday:
                        Lunch: Can Majo
                        Dinner: La Clara

                        Monday:
                        Lunch: Pinoxto
                        Dinner: Hisop or Alkimia (Leaning to Hisop - thoughts?)

                        Sunday:
                        Lunch: Cafe la Academia
                        Dinner: Bohemic

                        Monday:
                        Lunch: Bar Mut
                        Dinner: Gelonch

                        Tuesday:
                        Lunch: Quimet & Quimet (or Quim)
                        Dinner: 41 Degrees or Cinc Sentits

                        All opinions appreciated!!! :)

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: jacque536

                          Cafe de l'Academia, which I really like, is not open on Saturdays or Sundays. You'll have to switch to your Monday or Tuesday if you want to go there.

                          I agree with a couple other posters about Quimet and Quimet; I'm not a huge fan. I haven't been to too many other places on your list, but I've had two great meals (including great service) at Alkimia.

                          1. re: debbiel

                            Thanks! That will be easy to swap around! :)