Soon I hope to post about my dinner at El Bulli (and Celler de Can Roca), but today I want to start with the new cocktail bar that Ferran and his his brother Albert Adria have opened in Barcelona, 41 Degrees (the latitude of Barcelona). They will follow the cocktail bar with Tickets, a tapas restaurant next door. As El Bulli closes 41 Degrees and Tickets will keep alive some of the classic tastes (if one can call food at El Bulli classic - perhaps classic, but not classical).
41 Degrees is a very stylist space - cool, glassy, and aqua. Not at all retro (and of course Spain did not suffer through Prohibition - suffering through Franco's fascism was quite sufficient).
Most of the drinks currently available on the menu at 41 Degrees are classical cocktails: Negroni, Aviator, Cosmopolitan. However, the 'tenders will make a drink if asked. I love Manhattans, but also was intrigued by the Aviator, and so received an astonishing cocktail that mysteriously combined the two. It has no name, but it deserves on: I'll call it the LaGuardia: it was a mix of single malt vodka, bourbon, creme de violette, peychauds bitters, honey and orange juice. Perhaps it was my jet lag, but I was flying. It was a beautiful mix of sweet, bitter, caramel, and flowers. That this concoction was newly minted was quite astonishing.
Along with drinks one can order oysters as well a dozen El Bulli-inspired bar snacks (although using El Bulli and bar snack in the same sentence seems sacrilegious). I selected Adria's powerful spherical olive, pure olive liquid in a gel sac; a parmesan ice cream sandwich (intense cheesy ice cream and crackers), robust lime marshmallows, and pistachio embedded in sugared yogurt (sweet and pretty). Soon going to Barcelona will require seeing monuments Gaudi, Dali, and Adria. Degree 41 is a good place to experience (a bit of) the Adria magic.
I was able to peek into the construction of Tickets, the Adria brothers tapas bar, which, as everything the brothers touch, bears watching.
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