Six years ago, Albert Adrià, the youngest brother of gastronomy god Ferran Adrià, opened Inòpia, a small tapas bar using basic products and with innovative dishes, in the Barcelona neighborhood Sant Antoni. Albert closed the bar and his ex-partner Joan Martínez kept the space, but changed the name to Lolita Tapería. And this is where it all started.
Albert created his own strategy and figured out how he wanted the newest cuisine to be. He went into partnership with the Iglesias brothers, owners of three other restaurants just around the corner in the Poble Sec neighborhood: Casa de Tapes Cañota, Rías de Galicia and Espai Kru. They first opened 41º Experience in January 2011, a cocktail and snack bar with a menu of 41 different dishes that combine around 50 snacks and finger foods with cocktails and other drinks. It was a new concept in dining that is accompanied by a projected image show and by a selection of music. Just 16 lucky people get to dine at 41° every night — a must for foodies.
Right below the innovative eatery, you’ll find the Tickets Bar, which opened in March 2011. Described by Albert Adrià as the “local Bulli,” it is the return of haute cuisine for epicureans on the new golden gastronomic mile. Tickets Bar is a global concept that links gastronomy to a way of understanding food through innovative techniques. It’s a unique way of eating that turns the diner into an actor of a play, a character in a fairytale, or the dining experience into a chorus or circus. A group of small dishes is served with an explanation of the dish, which includes ingredients used, type of cooking and how it should be eaten: in one go, with a spoon, with your hands — it’s a really different gastronomic experience.
In their newest adventure, Pakta, a Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei restaurant, head chefs Kyoko Ii, Jorge Muñoz and Albert Adrià have fused their backgrounds to create “traditional” cuisine. The term Nikkei refers to the cuisine of the Japanese who migrated to Peru more than 100 years ago. The one-room restaurant sports a decidedly Japanese aesthetic with sleek wood furnishings with a touch of Peru in the brightly colored spools of yarn on the walls and ceiling. The menu ranges from Peruvian ají-spiced ceviches modified with tomato, beetroot and iced leche de tigre (a tangy milky liquid) to corn, yucca and potatoes to nigiri and mochi. It’s definitely a feast for the senses.
Photos Courtesy of Espai Kru, Pakta and Tickets