Unfortunately I missed your original post (irony: I was travelling in Texas, arriving in/departing from Houston).
Couple of possible recommendations.
Have a superb lunch at Moments (in Mandarin Oriental Hotel).
IIRC prix-fixe is €46 for 3 courses (and multiple amuses) and an extra €9 for an additional course. NB This is LUNCH ONLY! You'll thank me.
And/or drop by Tickets at about 6:45pm (they open at 7:00) - you MAY be lucky and get a space if they have a cancellation/late arrival. About 10 people got in the night I was there (a Tuesday).
And Pakta (haven't seen menu or prices) has an opening for Friday evening!
Thanks, estufarian! We head south tomorrow, but sorry I missed your recommendation! I think I walked by that hotel, on the Rambla? We did have a final exceptional tapas experience at Casa Lucio on Viladomat. Weary and hungry, we asked them to pick for us and they came up with some amazing dishes for us. We also left with a bottle of exceptional local vino tinto. I was surprised that it did not open for tapas until 8 p.m., and the dining room wasn't open yet when we left at 9:30. I get the late dinner hour, but thought tapas placed would all be open by 5:00 or so. I would recommend Casa Lucio to those looking for some fine tapas.
We ended up having the birthday meal at Casa Leopoldo on San Rafael off Hospital near the Boqueria Market. They put together a grilled seafood platter that was delicious. We had tapas one evening at a place near our hotel and will be looking for more today. What a fantastic city!
If I may ask one more question? We will be celebrating the significant achievement of living until a certain middle age while there. What is the best restaurant in Barcelona, in your opinion? Price and cuisine style is not important, but something special and dressy casual and memorable. Thanks in advance!
Edit: I know we can't get into Tickets, but our tastes run more to simply prepared foods rather than El Bulli style food. Thanks!
Curiously while reading the Spain Chowhound I noticed your post and recognized the name as one who posts on the Houston board so I thought I’d reply. We were in Barcelona two weeks ago. Our favorites were – Catalana Cerveseria (get the vieiras al graten), Paco Meralgo (a great rabbit tapas) and Cala del Vermut (one we went to with Barcelona Taste tapas tour which, by the way, was very fun). Also calcots are/were in season and if available are great. While Barcelona was great for tapas, in our opinion Seville was above and beyond – very cutting edge. Have fun.
Why not head to the same address? I really enjoy Lolita Taperia, which is in the space once occupied by Inopia. Joan Martinez was with Inopia and now has Lolita. Several Inopia classics are on the menu and much more. I've been four or five times and really enjoyed the food and atmosphere each time.
I reckon you are looking for a one-stop, sit down, tapas restaurant?
If you want the best in town, I would guess that many would say that's Tickets, but since you don't already have a reservation, you can forget about that.
My first pick for such a place would be Tapas24 with El Vaso de Oro and Paco Meralgo coming in second and third.
A lot of people like Cerveceria Catalana which I always find pretty surprising.
EDIT: Although it's more of a restaurant than a tapas place, you may also want to consider Cal Pep.