Terry Zarikian with Albert Adria, left, is living my dream at 41°.
I’m in the middle of interviewing F&W's Best New Chefs 2011
(announcements coming April 5th!), and one question I'm asking is: What’s your dream meal? Right now, my
dream meal is in Barcelona and begins with drinks and appetizers at 41°
, followed by tapas at Tickets
, two amazing, new adjacent spots from chefs Ferran
and Albert Adria
. Terry Zarikian
, creative director of Manhattan’s very cool new Spanish restaurant Bar Basque
and a long-time friend of the Adria brothers, is living my dream. Here’s Part I of his report:
I had strict orders: Arrive promptly at 41° at 7 p.m.
I did. I was met by a doorman (in a ringmaster costume, just like the circus) with a short list of names. Once inside, I checked out the mostly classic drinks, from Manhattans to margaritas and, believe it or not, Cosmos. All were meticulously mixed. Even the gin-and-tonics section was detail-oriented: There were more than two dozen gins, and a separate section of tonics, all served over little icebergs carved from a block of ice.
The food at 41° includes their version of traditional bar snacks: oysters with topping like soy tapioca “caviar” or “Schrencki” osetra, a special caviar from the Amour river on the Siberian border.
Pistachios wrapped in sour yogurt "skin" at 41°.
But Albert served us a selection of elBulli
–inspired snacks: The renowned, gel-filled spherical olives
(here, called Las Olivas Rellenas del 41), flavored with rosemary and garlic; pistachios wrapped in a dry “skin” of sour yogurt; and puffed grains of wild rice seasoned with curry that's poured from a black tin box into a black coal–like ceramic bowl. Mini hollowed-out baguette-like crackers came wrapped with warm, translucent slices of Iberian pancetta seasoned with pimentón and pearls of liquid mozzarella with a basil leaf. More than fantastic were the mini seaweed cones, filled with a spicy tuna tartar and a mysterious puffed grain—it was so delicious, no one cared what it really was.
41° Iberian pancetta wrapped around baguette-like crackers.
And that was just our appetizers at 41°. In my next report, I’ll tell you what I had at Tickets.