Dry Martini and Tickets Bar - Barcelona

Dry Martini

Simply put, Dry Martini Barcelona is an institution in the cocktail world. It currently holds the 42nd spot on the World's 50 Best Bars list and has been on the list 7 years in a row. This has only been done by 5 other bars, and so the sum of it's achievements makes it the 6th best bar of all time achievers world wide, 1st in Europe, and 3rd best gin bar in the world. I've had the opportunity to Sip here three times now and for a cocktail aficionado it's like walking into a candy store...of martinis. On my most recent visit I had a Porn Star martini. Trust me when I say that Dry Martini is much classier than the name of some of their cocktails. Dark wood, copper light fixtures and long leather couches is the décor. Excellent service is the name of the game as upscale bar men in white lab coats greet you as you enter. Founded 30 years ago, it used to be a "Martineria"; only serving Dry Martinis. When Javier de la Muelas inherited the already famous establishment he wanted to keep the classic British style, but introduced new exclusive cocktail creations to give it a contemporary feel. Insiders tip: Through an unmarked door and passed the kitchen is a speak easy restaurant rightfully named "Speakeasy". The space used to be Dry Martini's storage area, and quite literally still is with liquor on steel shelves and an impressive glass wall wine cellar. Inspired by hush hush establishment during the prohibition era in New York and Chicago, "a place where mystery and anonymity are synonymous to luxury". I've had the pleasure of dinning here twice, and the restaurant is most definitely on par with it's world class facade bar. If ever you're in Barcelona, or at any Dry Martini sister establishment location across the world, do yourself a favor and Sip That on one of their martinis!

Bottom left, Porn Star Martini: Absolut Vanilla vodka, Passoa liqueur, Vanilla syrup,
Fresh lime juice and droplets of Hot Chili Pepper, served with a glass of Sparkling Wine
Garnished with a slice of Star apple

Tickets Bar 

Granted, I've only been to a minute fraction of restaurants holding Michelin stars, but the Tickets Bar in Barcelona has to be one of the most playful and inventive renowned restaurants there is. What they lack in formal dinning ambiance they make up for in seriousness towards presentation and innovation. Holding one Michelin Star, it is ranked number 42 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list, and the same group awarded chef Albert Albria the title World's Best Pastry Chef . Chef Albria's vision for the restaurant "attempts to reflect the leisure spirit of Paralelo (neighborhood name ) becoming therefore one more show on the scene". A friend, Chef Christopher Hylton, made reservations on a recent visit to Barcelona, as I was not familiar with the restaurant. After all the hype and build up to this meal I was not expecting a circus themed restaurant, but this place is no laugh. Certainly no one could have expected the gastronomic experience which was to follow after ordering the Chef's surprise tasting. Despite some research I was not able to find a description for all dishes, and some may be a tad bit off. Enjoy our Dined There at Tickets Bar, Barcelona.

Famous elBulli reversed spherification "jelly" olives filled with olive oil
Beetroot Meringue with Frozen Yogurt

Unfortunately unidentified; The actual tapas was the popcorn looking bites on the roasted corn
Nashi Pear infused with Sake & St-Germain liqueur, topped with pistachios

Sesame Cake with Gold Foil and Parmesan Cloud

 Basil & Scammozza Waffles
Flatbread grated with Tomatoes and Stracciatella di Bufala with Olive Oil
Tuna Sashimi on Lime Meringue, Seared Eel and Avocado Cannelloni stuffed with Crab
Cured Rubia Gallega Beef displayed and then served cooked with marinated olives

Cooked Artichoke with Quail Egg & Salmon roe
Beef Tartar on rye cracker, dill & onions, topped with vinegar powder
Oysters, from the best of my recollection, were Kimchi & Yuzu and Vinegar & Salmon roe
Crunchy Octopus - some of the most flavourful I've ever had - with pickled Cucumber
Green Pea Soup with Avocado, Ham and Pea jelly cubes
Portobello Mushroom with Soy Sauce and Coriander
Chili Crab with Grapefruit - again, one of the most flavourful dishes I've had
From my best recollection, Poached Pear topped with Prosciutto and a sweet sauce
Wagyu Beef presented raw and then cooked medium rare,
accompanied by red grilled Peppers and fried air puff
Deconstructed Fried Chicken, served as marinated chicken on a "fried bed", for lack of a better term
Chicken broth served in a tea cup, with a homemade consommé tea bag
Coconut  lined with coconut jelly, lemon sorbet and coconut chunks
Orange slices in olive oil, shredded coconut and cinnamon
Tickets Chocolate ice cream bar & Nougat candy with a cold Milk Chocolate shot
Preparation of chocolate ice cream using liquid Nitrogen
Chocolate ice cream with olive oil and sea salt 
Without exaggeration, 3 and a half hours later, our small group had "Ooh'd" and "Ahh'd" at 26 different tapas dishes. Tickets Bar only accepts reservations through their website, and it is highly suggested, if not absolutely required, to get a table or bar space. Don't let the Michelin Star rating scare you, even someone on a travellers budget can dine here and enjoy three or four tapas dishes without breaking the bank. For more information on Dry Martini and Tickets Bar visit www.DryMartini.com and www.TicketsBar.es . If you haven't already, please subscribe in the top right corner of the page. Next week we're back to my side of the pond with a visit to the Big Apple. 

Spain and Italy have similarities in culture and food, but this Italian restaurant in New York City if the complete opposite of Tickets Bar.

From Barcelona to New York, but keeping with Mediterranean cuisine, have a look at Del Posto. A Michelin starred Italian restaurant that raises the bar way up.   


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