As someone who travels for food and books reservations before flights, whenever I tell my friends about my time at 41 Grados they pause a bit before asking more. REALLY? THAT GOOD? I’VE NEVER HEARD OF IT! 41 Grados was started by the Adria brothers. Ferran Adria started El Bulli and many of the techniques used in El Bulli serve as the foundation of 41 Grados. If you missed out on the infamous El Bulli olive, you can get it at 41 Grados and Tickets, the tapas bar that the Adrias opened (and in DC with Jose Andres).
Getting Reservations Both Tickets and 41 Grados are relatively difficult reservations so you’ll have to book a month in advance. In both of my early Winter trips, 41 Grados would book up 2-3 weeks prior, but Tickets would book up instantly on the day reservations are released online. Of course, you should always check back for cancellations, but you’re less likely to see that at 41 Grados because there is a 50 Euro deposit.
The Experience Incredible. Albert and Ferran created an “experience” for lucky diners–inclusive of moving projected images and music as the Albert takes you around the world with food. Depending how die hard you are–you’ll probably want the first seating’s courses; If you sit through the the later seating, your dishes won’t line up with the music though I doubt anyone would have really noticed unless they asked! Likely you’ll sit there asking what items on the plate you can eat or not eat because all the food is presented in such a bizarre or fun way. This probably goes without saying, but not only does every dish have a perfect presentation, it all was delicious! I nearly forgot to note the cocktails that come with the tasting–frankly, I wonder why all cocktails aren’t as beautiful or wild as the ones at 41 Grados! Whether it is edible “leaves” and “pearls” or the perfectly branded ice cubes, you will probably leave impressed and excited about eating in a way you’ve never felt before. Go now! Nom.
I took my new friend’s advice to do exactly what I wanted at all times during this trip. With all the pressure of having to see certain things in a city you can often lose sight of important vacation goals like relaxation! As a result, I haven’t really left my hotel until 1pm all this week after some chatting with home and blogging and I spend my afternoons walking aimlessly and perusing shops and alleys. It’s been fantastic with something new behind every corner–blocks with only bead stores, massive ornament statues, abandoned buildings, people wildly dancing in the streets.
Judge it all you want, but hey I’m having a great time doing “nothing”. I think this approach to the trip is exactly what I need. Also, if I wasn’t randomly wandering I wouldn’t have found the Catalan Bombers (firemen)!
Anyway, yesterday I had the random experience of meeting some expat Americans living in Barcelona with similar priorities: food, wine, food, cocktails. They were the nicest people I’ve encountered in a long time and it reminded me… Oh yes, how really great traveling alone can potentially be. I think without all of these new friends, this trip could have continued to be a nightmare!
We went to a few spectacular places. First, a cool craft beer place called Georges and Dragons. Then we headed off to a lovely wine bar, grabbed something to eat at Fantastico and landed at 41 Grados for cocktails (and to meet Albert Adria).
Spectacular night. I was giddy with Albert’s celebrity status and totally dig the two kiss cheek greeting thing.