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41 grados

41 Grados – Meal of a Lifetime

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.

 

Tamago at Sushi Nakazawa

Sushi Nakazawa

I’m not sure if NY’s supposedly best sushi restaurant is actually the best. Everything is GREAT. Nakazawa, the man himself, has an incredible personality, fish is freshly sourced from our two coasts and Japan, and service is spot-on.  However, I still prefer Sushi Yasuda which certainly isn’t as hard of a reservation–you’ll need luck getting a reservation at Nakazawa now that they have four stars from the NY Times.

The whole sushi bar is seated at the same time, and omakase service mostly starts together.  If one person is very late, likely the whole service will be a little behind (that was me, whoops!).

Here are some photos:

www.sushinakazawa.com/?

 23 Commerce St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 924-2212

 

 

Barcelona Day I & II- Gaudi, Shoes, Ham, and Tapas

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My first day was really rough with apartment issues, but I was able to catch La Pedrera before it closed, and see the rooftop right at sunset. If you are going to visit any of the Gaudi sights (which you must to have really seen anything), this should be your first because the mini museum inside provides a lot of context to the others.

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I started off my second day at La Manual Alpargatera, the old school shoe shop in El Gotic that specializes in espadrilles.

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If you look up all the places in the city you must visit to shop it is in the top ten of about every list. This is where I met my new friend, and went on to have coffee and dish about how tough and great traveling alone is (see here).

She was nice enough to walk me over to the cathedral where I discovered the most spectacular views (for 6€ to get into the church) and a local-oriented Christmas market. I don’t think Barcelona is a Christmas market destination. The markets are mostly mini nativity scene pieces, garlands, lights and simple ornaments. It was great to see but if you are looking for many unique stalls and offerings, I would head to Berlin!

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I told my old school Catholic grandma about the church and she was equally shocked that you had to pay to go inside, but agreed it was just a donation. She proceeded to give me a lecture that I’m young and shouldn’t worry so much about spending if I have my savings! LOL, oh grandma.

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In the early evening I headed over to La Boqueria to pickup some breakfast for the next day.

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In the evening I finally landed at Tapas 24, my favorite tapas bar! (I wish you could sense my enormous amount of excitement for this place).

Tapas 24 is… AMAZING. They have your standard tapas elevated to the next level. I’m really upset that they don’t have the squid paella anymore, but the baby squid and prawns are never-fails and are ridiculously fresh. You should remember to ask for the shrimps and squid when you go because they didn’t have them when I first arrived (8p). I was asked to eat slowly for thirty minutes for when they did come! It was heaven. The squid comes with the ink still inside. They were about the size of my nose as I described in a FaceTime to home :). The shrimps are grilled very simply but they are perfect–sweet, fresh, and full of their natural flavor.

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HEAVEN!

Sensation White

Sensation White was a gorgeous event with its massive light fixtures, lotus fountains, and the fantastic lotus stage. It was stimulation overload and the perfect scene for ravers. Who can deny that the fountain spritzing water patterns from the ceiling is the coolest thing yet to be found at a rave?

Everyone wears white, and unlike the “less classy” raves, no one shows up with lollipops, candy bracelets, or outrageous costumes–aside from those venturing on the scandalous side. Yes–tons of white lace EVERYWHERE.

My favorite photogs of the night: