Eating should be fun. Or better, eating out should be fun. If I fancy comfort food, I make a cheesy risotto or pasta at home or I order a pizza – and yes even Dominos’ would do. If I am working from home, or order roomservice in a hotel, all I want is some veggies, a salad, something healthy, maybe a cheeky glass of wine.
Some may be surprised, but I don’t eat out every single day of my life. Even if I am not at home. One reason is because, if I am traveling for work, I often spend nights checking and repeating aloud my slides for the day after (cringey I know) or go to the hotel gym (yes, I am that sad) and then take a quick walk around the block to explore the surroundings and de-stress.
But, when I eat out I want to be entertained. By the food, the company, the vibe, the charming service, better if there is a decent view. Because everything tastes better with that person or with that view!
What I love most is when a meal turns into a journey of discovery of flavours , textures, new ingredients, cleaver and surprising dishes.
I was in Barcelona and had a few gruelling days, working long hours not even able to walk out of my hotel to breathe some fresh air. The third night I was there, I was lying on my bed in the dark of my room, feeling a mix of annoyed – because I was going to miss a reservation at Tickets I made a few weeks earlier as a friend I was supposed to see couldn’t make it – and exhausted, almost ready to reach for the phone, order a boring salad, watch the rotating news on CNN, and take a bath.
Then something switched in my head. I got up, put on a pair of jeans, a shirt, lip gloss, grabbed my handbag and headed to Tickets. On my own. Not exactly how I planned it. I am not against the idea of solo dining, I can do it, and it doesn’t feel awkward. I don’t spend the whole meal just staring at my phone or reading a magazine. But I simply prefer good company that makes me enjoy my meals much more.
After a brief taxi ride I arrived at the restaurant. It was 6.55PM. And it was still closed. A little queue was forming outside, and my anticipation was growing. Tickets is Albert and Ferran Adria’s first venture together since El Bulli, serving interesting and slightly crazy modern tapas. Opened in 2011 is still hot today with reservations opening 60 days in advance, and going extremely quickly.
At 7pm on the dot a doorman, dressed in a theatre themed uniform, let me in. Wandering around the restaurant, and feeling like Alice in Wonderland, I was escorted to one of the four food stations, where I comfortably sat stalking the chefs working and prepping in front of me, in a semi-hypnotised state, sipping white wine. Unsure of what to order I happily agreed to let them chose for me. From the exploding olives, (one of the traditional El Bulli dishes), to the floating peanuts or the air baguette.
Every single dish was a delicious discovery, and never appeared to be exactly what it looked like. Every course was a clever and imaginative surprise, welcomed by my ‘ohs’ and ‘wows’.
Service was friendly and incredibly attentive. Tickets is a happy and relaxed place, I love it and I can’t wait to be back, and embark on a new fantasy journey, with an adventure companion this time. Because the best experiences are to be shared with the people of your life, and they become amazing memories.
I loved Ticket so much that I asked Albert Adria – who was working at one of the stations the night I visited – to answer a few questions for The Daily Out, and I got quite excited when he very kindly agreed. Enjoy!
- You need a drink. You grab a… beer.
- Snack: Sweet or savoury? Savoury
- Wine: red or white? Red and white, but another beer.
- What is the first taste you remember, and why? I remember smells not flavors, from the iron producing bars
- What is a “faux pas” in your kitchen? I continually make faux pas, the good thing is when you do 4 faux pas to make one great success.
- What is your comfort food? There is always time for everything, I like to vary the style of cuisine when I go to eat
- If you were a dish, which one would you be? a pizza
- What is the flavour of…
…love? sour if ends bad
- Something you always have in your fridge? Beers
- What is something you’d never eat? worms
- What food would you happily die eating? Pizza with mozzarella di bufala topped with 1 kilo of caviar.