Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tasting Ferran Adria

Ferran Adria creation at 41 degreesIn the world of cutting edge, avante grade cuisine, there is no name held in higher esteem than Ferran Adria. The man credited for elevating Spain to its pinnacle in the world of fine dining, turning molecular gastronomy into a buzzword, creating culinary foam, and for making El Bulli the #1 restaurant in the planet for foodies. Recently, Ferran announced his intention to close El Bulli so he can spend his time on other things; however, he will continue to cater to his fans through two small, casual but upscale places in Barcelona. Tickets is Ferran Adria's take on a tapas bar which is located beside 41 Degrees, his spin on a chic cocktail bar that serves several of his El Bulli classics. As you can imagine these are currently the most happening dining spots in town!

Tickets in Barcelona
41 Degrees BarcelonaYou enter 41 Degrees through Tickets and past a curtain in the bar. Tickets itself is designed like one of those old world theaters - a host in top hat out front, bright neon lights, the works. The bar is named for the latitude on which Barcelona lies and is designed to look like the intimate backstage hangout to Ticket's spotlit center stage.

The low slung chairs, the bull skulls on the walls, and the restaurant logo projected on the dark walls all contribute to the atmosphere here. The extensive cocktail menu has a selection of Ferran Adria's speciality creations. I cannot remember the names of the cocktail I tried, but they were beautiful.

Cocktails at 41 degrees
Cocktails at 41 degreesWe ordered a variety of food including the famous liquid olives, oyster with lychee nectar and horseradish iceberg, oysters with miso and black garlic, and the oysters with spicy chicken consume and kimchi. The liquid olives were as delightful as we expected, bursting in our mouth with flavorful olive oil. The oysters were very creative and we loved the flavors we tasted.

Liquid Olives at 41 Degrees
The Pistachios in Tart Yogurt was a work of art. Pistachios wrapped in a delicate lattice of dried sweet yogurt that was served in something that looked like a dead tree trunk in the miniature.

Pistachios and Yogurt at 41 Degrees
More Oysters at 41 Degrees
Fish Fried Ferran Adria styleThe fried fish reminded me of the prawn wafers you get in Asian restaurants. The fish seem to have been powdered and re-created in a wafer form. Then there was a rendition of a deconstructed sushi. As expected, every dish had an unexpected twist - with the taste and texture very different from what you would expect by looking at it.

Sushi deconstructed at 41 DegreesFinally, we brought the dinner to an end with yummy macarons and melt-in-the-mouth profiteroles flavored with black currant and anise.

Macarons at 41 Degrees
Profiteroles at 41 DegreesFor those of you who wish to try 41 degrees, remember that the only way to get a seat is through their website. Having only been open for the last few months, both this restaurant continues to be hottest ticket in town.

Previous in this series: Gaudi City
Next in this series: Lip-Smacking Tapas and Paella


Rupika V said...

Works of art, no less expected from Adria. Could I suggest a small edit- those look like macarons, beautiful ones too; would be a shame to call them flaky almond meringuey- cookies. Those currant profiteroles- make one cry out in delight, just on sight. Hope El Bulli finds a worthy, full-fledged dining successor...the world needs more of these. And now, back to my planning for a meal at The Fat Duck, personally overseen by Heston- doesn't hurt to dream, does it? ;)

Shantanu said...

@Rupika: Welcome to my blog! Dreaming has to come first; how else can you make dreams come true? :)

BTW, those are indeed macaroons and that is what I have called them. Where exactly did I call them cookies?

Rupika V said...

Hey Shantanu, glad to see a quick response. I missed being more specific- I was referring to the extra 'o' in macaroon, since the pictures suggested they were raspberry and chocolate macarons. I know, I know- there's a whole ongoing debate about macarons and macaroons, and the previous lifetime-Frenchwoman in me threatens to Occupy Laduree Bakery, until they pass a law declaring it a crime to call a macaron, macaroon! :) Ok, histrionics aside, I've lurked around for some time on your blog, and would like to commend you on the excellent photographs and the visibly detailed research and planning you put into exploring each new place that you visit. Always an admirable trait in a, if I may be allowed to use that painfully abused word, "gourmand". :)

Shantanu said...

@Rupika: Ah! Got it. Thank you for 'coming out' finally and for your kind comments.