This is our ode to Albert Adrià. We began in Barcelona, stayed for two nights eating at Tickets and Enigma back-to-back, then boarded a 60 min flight to Ibiza to experience a very different kind of evening at Heart.
It was incredible to witness first hand the breadth of creativity stemming from one beautiful mind that is Chef Albert Adrià. We had an opportunity to catch up with Chef both in Barcelona and Ibiza and he’s been quite busy toggling between drastically different yet entirely beautiful venues.
Below you will find three restaurant summaries, some advice for navigating each place and a few highlights of the night. Email us for info/advice on what to budget for each tasting menu.
Av. del Parallel, 164, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
No. 25 World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017
Michelin One Star
In a nutshell: Everyone and anyone will love the cuisine and carnival like atmosphere oriented towards adults. Tickets Bar is always lighthearted with a playful, delicious and customizable menu.
Advice: Opt for a seat at the bar to watch the kitchen in action. Be patient with scoring reservations, it’s eternally booked, so you’ll have to keep trying and plan your trip to Barcelona around landing the reservation. Keep an open and flexible calendar to book airline tickets after you reserve dinner. You can go and try to walk in, but you’ll be waiting and there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever get a seat.
Our Experience At Tickets
“A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.” ~ Willy Wonka
Arriving at 9:00 PM, we ordered most items off the menu & walked away full and happy around 12:30 am. Dinner began at the bar overlooking the kitchen and ended in the dessert room which is the old 41 Degrees location tucked away in the back of the restaurant. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory played on multiple televisions and it was a lot like being inside of a true-to-life Candy Land.
Highlights of our meal.
Additional items ordered and recommended include: Crunchy Octopus, Sea Cucumber, Potato Cube, Nordic Landscape, Avocado Ravolli, Oyster with Ponzu Sauce, Pizza Crujiente, Oyster with Kiwi Juice, Porex de Calix, Spaguetti con Rebozu, Mini Pancake, Mini Tarta Choco, Chocolate y Coco
Make reservations here: Tickets Barcelona
Carrer de Sepulveda, 38-40, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
Too new. Not yet rated. Cutting Edge Fine Dining.
In a nutshell: Fit for true food connoisseurs who have a penchant for reaching beyond traditional epicurean boundaries. An underground food movement that’s like fine dining on steroids. (Think 41+ courses. Think El Bulli. Think 41 Degrees.)
Advice: Carve out longer than usual for the dinner duration. Typically spans 4-6 hours as you wish and once you discover the final surprise, you will not want to rush things along.
Our Experience At Enigma
“The more unknowable the mystery, the more beautiful it is.” ~ David Lynch
Suffice it to say that it was ‘other worldly.’ Get a glimpse into that rabbit hole by clicking here.
Make reservations here: Enigma
In a nutshell: If you have enjoyed or think you would enjoy Tickets in Barcelona, then Heart is much like Tickets only with a more theatrical-flare in the party capital of the world. The cumulative experience is beautiful and awe-inspiring with Cirque Du Soleil at the core of controlled-chaos. With a pre-fix menu, tapas begin on the terrace and are very reminiscent of Tickets ( a few items the same), the main dining room offers three hearty courses with sides during the show. Once the sweet section is reached, tapas style dining resumes. Dinner closes with an afterparty transforming the dining room space into a nightclub which is open also to the general public, so it fills up quickly and completely.
Advice: Despite your age, you need to go. You’ll never feel more alive than in Ibiza, that’s a fact. Pre-fix menu with option for VIP upgrade offers front row seating to Cirque Du Soleil which is very interactive for guests.
Our Experience at Heart
“Get out of your head and get into your heart. Think less and feel more” ~ Osho
How the night started…
While seated on the terrace enjoying small bites reminiscent of Tickets and sipping on gin and tonic, a seductress in a black cloak approached our table, motioning us to stand and then took us by the hand and guided us into a hidden room where we were given golden frogs and told to lick their backs (kitchen grade products, vibrant mix of spices and herbs). A mysterious powder coated our tongues casting a spell that would “change the course of events.” We were next seated on a plush sofa and serenaded by a woman whose voice was so beautiful that it made every hair stand up. Holding each other’s hand, tears streamed. This was only the beginning. Brandon scheduled this dinner as a surprise for me, which added a layer of magic to the night.
Heart Ibiza is a progressive dinner over 4.5 hours changing locations from terrace to theatre room to night club. There’s nothing else like it. The General Manager reassured us that Mrs. Woodward wasn’t the only one crying¹ at dinner, this happens fairly frequently.
How the night ended…
Later in the evening, after many wonderful bites, lots of kissing and a brilliant show, the song “Forever Young” began to play and once again, tears streamed from a place of complete gratitude. Our hearts are entirely fulfilled. If I (Erin) died today at age 39, I’ve lived every dream I’ve ever had. If you asked either of us, we’d both say we’re married to the love of our life and the fact that we’re seeing the world together has enriched our lives and brought us ever closer. Tasting menus are one of the greatest mediums for falling deeper in love! My heart is bursting with gratitude sometimes to the point that I just have to cry to release the pressure. My eyes are welling with tears as I type this. The environment at Heart sets the conditions to suspend time and throws guests into the present moment. So often, being in the present moment is the biggest missed opportunity.
In closing, the food is excellent. In particular, the ‘Lobster‘ was the meatiest and most flavorful we’ve had in a long time, maybe ever. What makes this fine dining experience amazing, however, isn’t the food, it’s the energy from the other diners, the ambience of the space, the fact that it’s Ibiza with Cirque Du Soleil and the live art exhibit surrounding the dining experience. If you solely isolate the food, you will find a more grounded meal at Tickets, but we didn’t get lost in the moment at Tickets. We got lost in several moments at Heart while enjoying delicious food. Time stood still at various points and that’s really what you’re signing up for when you go. To achieve both is monumental.
Make reservations here: Heart Ibiza
Thanks for reading!
E & B Woodward
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¹ Yes, I cried and no we weren’t on MDMA, although that’s readily available in Ibiza. If you’re looking for it, it actually finds you, but just say no because drugs are bad m’kay.