Albert Adrià (pictured) with Fran Agudo
The space: In a league of its own, Albert Adrià’s playhouse of culinary fun takes tapas to the cutting edge. Within a circus-themed space, five small plate bars and open kitchens surround the perimeter of the restaurant, each highlighting a different preparation method.
El Bulli connection: Until its closure in 2011, legendary Spanish brothers Ferran and Albert Adrià operated El Bulli, the groundbreaking high-concept Spanish restaurant in Catalonia which, arguably, is where the term ‘molecular gastronomy’ was born. Tickets carries on El Bulli’s trailblazing, science-y cooking in a theatrical setting.
Signature dishes: Expect El Bulli classics like the restaurant’s famous olives made from olive juice spherified through a process with calcium chloride, alginate and xanthan gum; in addition to the air baguette, a puffy hollow breadstick wrapped with umami-rich Ibérico ham.
Other projects: Under the umbrella of their El Barri group, Ferran and Albert Adrià command a total of five restaurants, all in Barcelona’s el Paralel neighborhood. The group offers everything from modern Mexican to Japanese-Mediterranean and 40-plus course progressive Spanish.
Worth noting: In 2015, Albert Adrià was voted The World’s Best Pastry Chef.