Our Experience at Tickets in Barcelona

Since I wasn't blogging last year, I could only share bits of our November anniversary trip to Barcelona on Instagram.  I'm hoping to eventually cover a few more experiences from this trip (as well as some of our previous trips elsewhere) on this blog.

Today I'll be discussing our experience at Tickets.  If you're not familiar with Tickets, it's a Michelin-star tapas bar that focuses on creative, whimsical dishes in a fun atmosphere.  Eric and I first heard of the restaurant when it popped up on The World's 50 Best Restaurants of 2016.  (It also appeared on another, similar list in 2017.)  After reading about it, we knew we had to get reservations!  We were already planning on Barcelona for 2017, so Tickets made it to the top of our "To Do" list.

I'm not going to lie -- getting a reservation at Tickets is just as difficult as online reviewers claim it is.  I obsessively checked their website for months in an effort to figure out the best way to go about it.  There always seemed to be a couple of available tables, but they were always for larger parties.  (And they don't allow you to reserve a table for two if, say, a table for eight is the only available reservation.)  Obviously that wasn't going to work for us.

I knew that reservations are required two months in advance, and that reservations open at midnight ... But every time I checked the website around midnight, I still always saw tables available for larger parties and nothing for two people.

Thank God for TripAdvisor!  Someone posted that the secret is to change the time zone on your phone/tablet/computer (whatever you're using to make reservations) to Barcelona, and then at midnight their time the website should update to allow for reservations two months from that date.  And, oddly enough, that little trick worked!

After the initial excitement of securing a reservation, we then had to wait two months to enjoy our anniversary dinner at Tickets.  It was definitely worth the wait!

At Tickets, you're given two options: you can either order off the menu or your server can select the food for you, surprising you with each dish.  We chose to be surprised.  (Though we did still select our main course, which was shared.)  They make sure you don't have any food allergies, are open to eating raw foods, etc., and then they literally keep bringing you food until you ask them to stop.

The "olives" are one of their most famous tapas.  (I say "olives" because they aren't actually olives.) They have the consistency of Gushers, in that they explode in your mouth with olive flavored goodness.

These were like little crispy sandwiches filled with pancetta and delicious Iberian ham, or jamón ibérico (which is, as I learned on this trip, my absolute favorite type of pork product).  We were instructed to eat the end dipped in paprika last.

These are exactly what they appear to be: prawns with the head on.  The body was delicious, but Eric and I both didn't enjoy sucking the heads.  That's supposed to be the best part, but honestly?  It had the consistency of a booger.  Not for us.

This is an oyster filled with caviar.  Neither of us had ever tried oysters before (shocking, since we both love raw seafood), and this was incredible.  I probably could have eaten twelve of these.

This is tuna belly with a side of apple flavored jelly.  The jelly was to be consumed after the tuna.

This is their take on nigiri.  I'm not sure exactly what was in this, but I remember it had a delicious smoky flavor that I loved.

This is Wagyu beef tartare (yes, we ate raw beef) on a potato puff.  This was one of my favorite tapas of the evening.

These are their famous "mini airbags."  The puff is filled with manchego cheese foam, and topped with more manchego cheese, hazelnut dust, and caviar.  I was most excited to try these, and they're a classic Tickets dish for a reason!

These are "airbaguettes," which, as the name suggests, are light and crispy and delicious.

I didn't get the best picture of this (you can see my hand in the bottom left corner), but it was still one of the most beautifully presented (and delicious!) tapas of the night.  This is woven avocado filled with crab and chipotle mayonnaise and topped with chia seeds.  Yum!

And, speaking of gorgeous presentation, here we have the Nordic Landscape.  This had bits of beef, pickled onions, and smoked cheese on top of a crispy wafer dusted with vinegar powder.  It was almost too pretty to eat, but the taste was just as amazing!

These are razor clams with a lemon dipping sauce.  The clams were delicious, and the sauce was so good that I wanted to drink it.

This is foie gras roasted with smoked eel in the center and served with some crispy bread.  They slice it at your table, and, after eating it, I wanted to say, "Could you please come back and slice off some more for us?"  I'm a fan of foie gras anyway, but this was the best I've ever had.

After that, we asked them to stop bringing the tapas so we could get our main dish.  This is quail stuffed with eggplant, cilantro, and quail eggs with a vegetable sauce.  They cut it up at our table (after it had already been cooked!), which I thought was a neat touch.  I think we chose the right entrée, because it was not only delicious but also the perfect amount of food after all those tapas (and the desserts to come).

Once the main part of the meal is over, a server will ask you to follow them.  You want to do this.  They lead you back to another room specifically for dessert.  There are berries hanging from the ceiling, and monitors playing scenes from Willy Wonka on one wall in the dessert room.

And, like the tapas at the beginning of the meal, the desserts keep coming until you say stop.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of this until after we'd already eaten the dessert, but this is a real rose that once held a lychee, raspberry, and rosewater gelatin sphere.  These were handed to us as we entered the dessert room.

I'm going to be honest ... I don't remember what this is.  I know they torched it in front of us, and it was light and airy and tasty ... But that's about it.

These are mini pumpkins filled with mandarin orange and pumpkin sorbet with toasted pumpkin seeds on top.  The perfect fall dessert!

This is the famous Tickets cheesecake.  It's not a cheesecake in the traditional sense, but it was creamy and delicious.  

This was my second favorite dessert of the evening: a hazelnut and chocolate torte.

Our final dessert was also my favorite: chocolate cookies with coconut, basil, and passion fruit.  These were so good, and the perfect way to end an amazing meal!

This experience was one of our favorites in Barcelona.  Eric and I are both self-proclaimed foodies, so a place like this was the perfect way to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary.

It is rather expensive (we spent nearly $400 with the entire meal and two bottles of wine), but it's well worth it.  The food was both delicious and beautiful, and we had an opportunity to try a few things we'd never had before (like the razor clams).

If you're planning a trip to Barcelona and consider yourself an adventurous eater, I highly recommend visiting Tickets.  You won't be disappointed!

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