41 Degrees, Barcelona

After a lovely afternoon at the Joan Miro Museum, we took a 5 minute cab over to Avinguda del Paral-lel, 164 to the new Adria venture Tickets and 41 degrees. Devastated that El Bulli was closing, we decided to make a reservation to 41 degrees after we researched that some of El Bulli’s best dishes would be on the bar menu as “snacks” at 41 degrees, we had to try it.

At the entrance to Tickets a circus ringleader (host) who stands on the red carpet asks for a reservation and checks a reservation list. The couple before us did not have a reservation and as a result could not get into Tickets. 41 degrees is in the dark, swank bar in the back of Tickets and you have to walk through the various food stands specialized stations to a dark, low lit hallway.

41 degree is cavernous, it plays the hippest jazz renditions of classic songs. There are  bull skeletons along the wall bedazzled with jewels, feathers and wiring. Cocktails start at 13-15 euros. We calculated that if one orders each component of a gin and tonics individually, a gin and tonic would cost 10 euros each. We decided on a bottle of Torello Cava for 26 Euros. The tables are fashioned after film reels. Very cool.

The first dish we tried was oyster with lychee juice and horseradish iceberg (ostras lichis pure de horseradish) were 4.80 Euros each and truly a symphony of flavors, cold, sweet and spicy all at the same time.

The “acid” yogurt “pistachios” with yogurt powder (Pistachulines de Yogur 3.10 Euros each) were amazing, melty, tangy and nutty. We licked every piece of dust off the twig server.

We had to order the infamous El Bulli olive (olivia del 41)  now available as a 41 Degrees  for 1.60 Euros each. Deception is a powerful concept and the El Bulli olive does exactly that. We have a certain expectation of the size and texture and color of the olive, and while the size and color is dead on, the thin olive casing contains an explosion of liquid olive oil.

The “Pistachios” (Pistachios mimet 3.8 Euros each) melted in your mouth like chocolate and tasted like nutty mayonnaise. We loved the craters in the stone perfect for serving.

We ordered the Normandy (Viiaje nordico) for 5.60 Euros and each serving had a thin slice of beef with onion, greens and cream. Very textural, colorful and we thought of a snowy outdoors.

One of our favorite snacks we tried was the Iberian ham air baguette (Panereo con panceta iberiico) for 3.20 Euros each. The crunch “bread”, cracker was covered in a thin layer of ham flavor. It was visually whimsical and hollow inside.

The tuna with roe was wrapped in a conical form (Cornet de algas con atun was 4.20 Euros each). The flavor itself was not unique, but the industrial/rubber serving vehicle was cool.

We knew the meal was coming to an end when dessert came, or so we thought was dessert. The Parmesan ice cream sandwich which tasted like a chilly Cheez-Its with a lemon marmalade (Corte Helado de Queso) for 3.10 Euros each.

We also had lime and coconut marshmallows (marsmallows de lima coco) which were the freshest pillowy marshmallows I’ve ever tasted for 3.80 Euros each. The melt in your mouth black currant, yogurt and atsina cress profiteroles (Profiteroles de Grosella Negra y Yo were 3.50 Euros each) that looked like little Smurf villages were also a delight for dessert.

41 Degrees is an unexpected gastronomic experience. We paid 90 euros for two people and was well worth the concert of surprises, tastes and fun.

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