Q – We are heading out to Barcelona in June for a long-delayed second honeymoon. We’ll be staying at the Hotel Arts, which we hope you will agree is the best hotel in the city. Our question has to do with one memorable meal. We have established a relationship with a member of the Concierge staff at the Arts who we think will help us book the hottest restaurant in the city. Is there one place we absolutely must try and where should we sit?
A – The Hotel Arts is very Ritzish and modern. But it does not have the city’s best location. You will need to take a taxi to get tot he Ramblas and the heart of the action. The restaurant of the moment in Barcelona is simply called “Tickets”. When El Bulli was closed earlier this year, Spain lost the world’s top-rated restaurant. Now, former El Bulli Chef/Owner Ferran Adria and his brother Albert, have opened an inexpensive and unusually playful tapas restaurant. There is a really futuristic bar, six dining areas, and a desert area that resembles a culinary amusement park complete with cotton candy and ice cream carts. But be warned, this is about the “toughest ticket” in town.. By the way, the place is named after its location, in Barcelona’s rather intimate theater district. The hottest section in the restaurant is a small area called “the Marx Brothers Cabin”, a well-located spot where the owners can mingle with their friends and fellow chefs. We wonder if Groucho, Harpo, and Zeppo would find it amusing that their “style” has been invoked in such a trendy manner in 2012.
Is this one of those restaurants where paying someone to get you in make sense? Yes. But remember, the Adria’s do not like games. They hate saying no. That is, ultimately, why they closed El Bulli. It became too successful.