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.
Siete Portes was a great paella restaurant near Barceloneta (and relatively famous too!). I’m not too keen on the tomato-based paella which is so sad and unfortunate, but when you change it up with well executed squid ink, I’ll never stop! The restaurant was pretty straightforward on the up-scale bistro level and a little pricey at 28 Euros, but I will definitely be returning next time.
It is also relatively close to the Citadel Park if you want a beautiful post-meal stroll! (You’ll need it)
I highly recommend Mermaid Inn for ridiculously cheap oyster happy hour! They aren’t perfectly shucked, but you probably still get more than what you pay for. Coming from a gal sensitive to not-fresh shellfish, this is a steal that doesn’t compromise freshness. The selection on the HH menu is limited with one daily special of East Coast for $1 and one variety of West Coast for $2 everyday, but it’ll satisfy your craving.
Oyster Happy Hour at The Mermaid Inn
Try not to get sucked in to the other small bites, because last time we made a meal of it we ended up with a /person tab! Yum, fish tacos.
Fish Tacos at The Mermaid Inn
The first time I went to Mermaid Inn it was for the lobster roll (a very solid one at that).
Lobster Roll at The Mermaid Inn
The rest of what I tried over the summer was fried: shrimp fritters and the soft shell crab entree.
Shrimp Corn Fritters at The Mermaid Inn
I wasn’t a huge fan of the soft shell crab. It was flavorless and overwhelmed by the breading despite how delicious it looks.