Tickets and 41 Degrees closing? Barcelona must visit restaurants?
Hi everyone - Can someone confirm if Tickets/41 Degrees are closing for good in August? I've been doing some preliminary research on the forum and found the below recommended restaurants.. Feel free to clue me in on other must visits as of lately:
El Cellar Can Roca
El Vaso de Oro
Thanks in advance!
Tickets opens the last week of August only for dinners,and Saturday the 30th for lunch and dinner, the rest of the month is closed.
In your list you have restaurants outside the city, you should definetly add a couple more if you can travel by car.
Els Casals (Sagás)
Els Brancs (Roses)
Les Cols (Olot)
Les Magnolies (Arbucies)
La Lluerna (Santa Coloma de Gramanet)
In Barcelona you could add to your list:
Espai Kru, Bohemic, Vivanda, Dos Cielos, Casa Martinez, Cañete, Tapeo, Shunka&Koy Shunka, Shangai, Bodega 1900.
It should really help to know what kind of restaurants are you looking for too.
Would do La Cova Fumada over Vaso de Oro. Vaso was good but La Cova Fumada was more of an experience plus great food.
Your listing resembles a 'bucket' list, a hodgepodge of eating places. Most probably serve good food or serves a particular need. Maybe not Casa Danone since I have a prejudice against a restaurant owned by a yogurt company. It would be helpful if you can be more specific on the reasons those are on your list, types of food you are looking for, ambience, some idea of your budget and how long you will be in Barcelona, you'll get some excellent feedback.
As for 'must visit restaurants', there is no such thing in Barcelona unless one is hung up on eating at what is the remnants of El Bulli which would be Tickets. Otherwise, every restaurant/tapas/pintxos place can be replace by another.
Carme Ruscalleda is the chef and not the name of a restaurant. Her restaurant Sant Pau is about 70km north of Barcelona in San Pol de Mar. She also oversees Moments in Barcelona with her son as the chef.
Hi PBSF. Been following many of your recommendations and reviews for Barcelona and hoped you could give me your opinion on a few other restaurants:
Asador de Aranda in Tibidabo
La Cova Fumada
and for fine dining - between, Cine Sentits, Alkima, Hisop Sauc, Abac, Camerc 24 and El Cellar Can Roca - how would you rank them?
Thank you for your help.
Asador de Aranda: I've only been to their Pau Claris outpost. They do one thing, roasted baby lamb in a wood burning oven and it is excellent. Since all their asadors pretty much serve the same menu, I wouldn't bother to trek up to Tibidabo unless you want to check out the fancy exterior.
Santa Maria: Paco Guzman's excellent tapas place is no more, closed last year. I think he has since opened Restaurant Santa nearby on Avinguda Meridiana. Don't know anything about it nor my Barcelona friends.
La Cova Fumada: it is a good simple everyday type of restaurant; good for tapas as well as traditional everyday food such as beans with sausage and clams, sardines, squids, roast pork.
Sagardi: it is a chain of pintxos places with so so food; also a sit down restaurant in the back. The El Born branch is great for people watching. Fine as part of a El Born tapas/pintxos crawl but wouldn't make it a destination or such. For better pintxos, go to Taktika Berri.
Fine dining: I am not much of 'ranker' when it comes to restaurants. Those on your list, I would separate them into two categories: El Celler de Can Roca and Abac are much more ambitious, more expensive (more than twice of the others), a larger, more impressive wine lists, finer table setting, more staff and splashier dining room, definitely much more of a fine dining experience. El Celler has gotten more publicity and reservation requests than they ever imagined or can handled. It is almost impossible to get a reservation without jumping through loops. Much of the food is excellent, their use of molecular technique is amazing, so is their presentation. Yet every tasting menu I have eaten there, there has always been a clunker or two (slimy smoked eggplants, overpowering mussels, onion soup with aged Comte has a bitter after taste. That seems to be the case of 3 star Michelin dining in Spain. If you can get a reservation, your budget is fine with it and able to get to Girona, go for it. As for Abac, I have not been there since Xavier Pellicer which I am a big fan of, left years ago, therefore, I am of no help regarding to food. It is a beautiful restaurant in a beautiful hotel. As for the rest on your list, my favorite is Sauc. The cooking is less molecular and the food has a right balance of refined and rustic. Every dish is full flavor, nothing is ho hum. If you decide to eat there, unless you have a huge appetite, take the shorter tasting menu. Cinc Sentits, Alkimia and Hisop are pretty much the same to me; all are very good. The food at Cinc Sentits is probably the most consistent and the service friendly and spot on which makes it a good choice if it is your first trip to Barcelona. Unlike the others on your list, Comerc24 is a highend tapas place. One can order just a few items or take the long Festival of Tapas tasting. Some plates such as a grilled baby octopus, a suquet, or a wild mushroom coca are deceptively simple, other such as their salads, scallops, eggs, are in the El Bulli style. Cinc Sentits, Alkimia or Hisop are small, low key with somewhat bland decor which after a couple of hours, can feel like a tomb. Comerc24 is bigger, dressy, lively and fun.
Have not eaten at La Palmera (probably will give a try the next time in Barcelona) or La Clara. Went to Suculent earlier this year after an opera performance at the Liceu. Was packed; three of us managed to squeeze into two seats at the counter; jamon, gambas and oxtail, all very good. Like the lively vibe and the great staff behind the counter.
El Vaso is a classic tapas bar serving excellent beer and vermouth. Very traditional tapas made with top notch ingredients, therefore it is not cheap. Standup only and very crowded at prime time (after 1;30/8;30pm).
I have not been to Tapas24 since they first open more than 5 years ago; the tapas were a mix of simple traditional such as potato brava, croquuetes, bomba mixed with few creative ones from Comerc24 such as a McFoie Burger, BikiniC24; also a few large traditional large plates. I found it very expensive for what it is and wasn't taken by the basement space. It is not a less expensive version of Comerc24. Lumping Comerc24 with the above is like putting an orange in a bowl of apples. Totally different in every way, a place for a night out.
When we visit friends in Barcelona, we go to tapas places not just to eat. The ambience and the staff is just as important.
Unless you are spending a lot of time in Barcelona, making a long distance just to eat at a particular tapas places a waste of time. For convenience, have small list where you'll be sightseeing. If you are tire of sit down restaurants in the evening, pick an area and do a tapas/pintxos hop. Don't over research. They are not meant to be gastronomic nirvanas but places to have a good time. They are no reservation, informal, inexpensive (same for wine, beer, vermouth, cava, txakoli) and the traditional food tend to be good, therefore, just plunge in and take in the ambience. If one doesn't appeal, move on to the next, not much effort or monetary outlay. There are exceptions, those of the multi-course tapas which is more like a restaurant.
If you are referring to the mentioning of Sauc on my earlier post, my comments on Sauc is that it is one of my favorite because my preference for more rustic and full flavor food. It was never my intention to give the impression that it is 'that good'. Barcelona is loaded with modern Catalan restaurant that one can throw a dart at and get a good meal. 'That good' depends on the individual and the restaurant's performance on a particular day.
Unlike some other international boards on CH, there aren't any locals or many repeat visitors currently posting. The same few restaurants get frequent mentions and most are based on a single visit by first time visitors. This all make decision making a bit problematic and many excellent restaurants fall under the radar. No wonder Cinc Sentits, Hisop and those run by 3 star chefs such as Lasarte, Moo see nothing but visitors at their tables. Can throw Tickets/41 Degrees into the mix. Abac hardly gets mentioned until rumor has it that the restaurant with the backing of the hotel is pushing hard for a third Michelin star. None are criticisms of the restaurants or this board. Any reporting of their visits are very welcome on this forum.
Hi PBSF - Thanks for your feedback..We've been busy and just starting to book our flight for this trip in Sept (roughly the 10th to 23rd). We've been in Spain before but never BCN.. we have about 5 nights before we head up the costa brava. We would be open to doing 1 or 2 fine dining restaurants .. we are both born / raised in NYC and we just want to enjoy more of what the locals would eat..and experience the culture through food.. all of your posts have been super helpful on this thread. I'm not going to go crazy making a tapas place our whole day's destination.. i'd just like to know a few to keep on our list. in NY we stay up to date on the restaurant / chef scene and love to try new places but also old classics.Thanks so much for your help..
The earlier posts on this thread plus the link to a recent thread have some good recommendations.
Then the usual recommendations of Hisop, Alkimia, Cinc Sentits, Gresca and the numerous tapas/pintxos place such as PacoMerago, Taktika Berri, Bar del Pla, Tapas24, Bar Mut.
"Where locals would eat" in Barcelona comes in all shapes and sizes. Families eat at home except Sunday midday where many go for seafood and rice dishes in Barceloneta. Hipsters and twenty/thirty something mostly hang out at their neighborhood tapas bars or dives On weekends, maybe down to the El Born/La Ribera and do a tapas/pintxos crawl. An expensive date might be La Vinya Roel or Hisop, Cata1.81, E Toc. Most older locals don't do tapas bars in the evenings, prefer to eat a sit down meal. They'll do a quick standup tapas during midday or early evening with friends at Quimet y Quimet, El Vaso de Oro, Bodega La Palma, Ubeda or at everyday inexpensive places such as Sant Joan, Bodega Manolo, La Cova de Fumada, Can Mano, El Clandestino, Foguer. On won't find many locals at most visitors' lists such as Cal Pep, Cinc Sentits, Tickets, Abac, Dos Palillos.