For the final day of the Barcelona international Portland Food Adventure, we had the day free until dinner at Tickets Bar, one of Albert Adrià’s restaurants, a mecca of modernist cuisine rated as one of the top restaurants in the world. Also, almost impossible to get a reservation for!
PFA leader Chris Angelus clued us in on the guided Sagrada Familia tour, enabling you to skip the long lines. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour, photos just don’t do this amazing basilica any justice. It was well worth the time and a highlight of the trip.
The medallions on the pillars remind me of Kosh in Babylon 5.
OK, I just don’t get the parachuting Jesus over the altar. Really, it looks like a Victorian lampshade.
I make fun, but really it is a tour de force and I love it.
Now for the final Portland Food Adventures dinner in Barcelona. Famed modernist cuisine master Albert Adrià opened Tickets to be kind of a neighborhood elBulli. It’s a fun place, they have fun with the food. We got a signed copy of Albert Adrià’s Tapas Ticket Cuisine cookbook.
You don’t get more as a foodie than this, and reservations are booked up for months. It was only through the connections of Chef Jose and Portland Food Adventures that we scored this coup.
I still fit into the skinny dress, that’s a good sign we did lots of walking. I bought the scarf in Barcelona at a shop.
Time for tickets.
The famous olives that aren’t in their original formulation.
Some typical tapas to lure us in.
And then it gets weird, but tasty. Summer tree with cherry, solid cocktail with watermelon, blackcurrant churros with railfort cream, etc. Nothing in its original form. That’s why Albert Adrià is the best in the world.
They wouldn’t tell us what this was until after we ate it. I was afraid it was elvers (baby eels), but instead it was noodles made from mushrooms, and quite good.
And then you have mushrooms made of mushrooms, but not in their original form.
Back to real food, maybe, for all I know this was actually chicken.
I believe this really is steak, from the Rubia Gallega breed, with airbaguettes.
Really, really good.
Overall, excellent dinner although we had so many fantastic dinners that I can’t rate it as better than two or three others. The crowded dining room didn’t help for ambiance. Too Portland, LOL!
That was it for the planned adventure, we had gotten in early to Tickets and so we had time to make it to the Dry Martini Bar and get what should be the perfect dry martini. It’s ranked among the World’s Best Bars.
This establishment is by star bartender Javier de las Muelas. The staff are tuxedoed and it is a very posh club atmosphere. See that LED number above the bartender? That’s the number of certified dry martinis they have served. It is about to go up by one.
Bombay Sapphire is always my gin of choice for a martini. The Dry Martini Bar agrees.
And here it is. It’s good, very good. But I still like my husband’s better. He makes it a little dirty with olive brine.
And so I get a certificate!
Bottom line on Portland Food Adventure Barcelona:
Worth every penny. Chef Jose Chesa was always wonderful, helpful, and awesomely in love with Barcelona, its food, its traditions. His access to the chefs made this unique, something you just can’t buy separately. If you haven’t eaten at his restaurant in Portland, Ataula, you need to go. I went twice more after returning from Barcelona and I’d say he matches anything we had in his native city!
Chris Angelus did a great job with this first international outing. There were very few bobbles, just as many (or fewer) than I’ve encountered on group trips with seasoned tour operators. That’s part of travel.
The other participants were a fun and welcoming group of varied ages and interests. It was great to meet them and they were excellent dining companions. The common denominator is that we all loved food. We were a very easy group to serve – no allergies, no restrictions, just bring it on and we’ll skip things if want to.
I thought the hotel was great for amenities and service and being centrally located, but I wish it had been in a more scenic area.
We had a good mix of free time and programmed time. This was only a culinary tour, any sightseeing was done on our own. I found there was enough time for that and our location made it easy to get to where I wanted to go. Not only on foot, but also taxis were immediately available, as was the metro.
I would definitely travel with Portland Food Adventures again, anywhere in the world!