The Adria Brothers Fantastical Tapas Bar TicketsThe other day, Terry Zarikian (creative director for NYC’s monumental Spanish restaurant Bar Basque) wrote about his meal at Barcelona's new 41°, the amazing cocktail lounge from Albert and Ferran Adrià. Now, he makes me more jealous with details of his dinner at the Adriàs' fantastical tapas bar, Tickets, including a dish that was so good it made him cry. Here’s Terry:
Tickets is attached to 41° through a yellow-painted corridor (that might make you think of The Wizard of Oz’s yellow-brick road). Its circus-like decor is, at first, surprising: It’s hard to believe that such a childish-looking restaurant comes from the world’s most futuristic and groundbreaking culinary team.
I figured out that, while a lot of the dishes at Tickets are the same as those at 41°, the Tickets dishes are made with 100 percent Spanish ingredients. So Tickets' spherical olives are made from Spanish Verdial olives, and the fantastic liquid cheese ravioli of cheese is made with Spanish Payoyo goat cheese.
Slow-roasted pork jowl sandwich—good enough to make you cry.We used surgical tweezers to peel ultra-thin slices of “jamon de toro”—white tuna belly slightly cured with salt, painted with Iberian ham fat—off a sheet of wax paper. A lightly stewed spiced tomato tartare came served with round “aired” mini breads; on my second visit (yes, I went twice) they came with both the mini breads and super-crispy chicharones, or fried pork rinds: Albert wanted our opinion on which was best for the tartare. Personally, I liked the chicharones. Still, nothing topped the mollete de papada adobada con queso, a light brioche round filled with slow-roasted Iberian pork jowl and sprinkled with potent Spanish adobo seasoning, then cooked a la plancha with melted white cheese. My friend Susana watched me take my first bite and said, “I knew it! I knew this was so good it would make you cry!” Indeed, when something is absolutely delicious, it makes me cry. This was one of those dishes.