Bodega 1900

In a frantic attempt to beat jet-lag before it even thinks of settling in, I’ve dropped my bags in my rented room and set off to establish my bearings. Criss-crossing through side streets and tiled lanes, it is decided that my brisk pace should keep me awake until exhaustion finally sets in.

Barcelona is pleasant this time of year. The mid-September air is a treat, exhaling a collective relief from the bustle of those who do not call this city home. With no intention of stopping, I am charting a course of exploration for a later time, when I am rested and better able to appreciate my new temporary surroundings.

That’s when I discover Bodega 1900.

I am immediately drawn by a woman savouring a glass of white wine, sitting with ease and contempt in an outdoor setting that appears to have been thrown together with a skill that only someone who knows what they are doing can craftfully accomplish. I, too, want to be this woman. I glance inside and like what I see. Food prepared immediately upon entrance, it feels as though you are walking into someone’s personal kitchen space. This openness is welcoming. I make a mental note and head back to home base to awaken with a strong brew and the intention of researching my new curiosity.

My search results kindle a jolt of adrenaline and I pat myself on the back for having such a sharp eye in my tired state. If I was tired before, I’m awake now. They have me crossing the street immediately in the hope that appearing in person will secure a table after discovering that only bookings for 1 are available online. I briefly consider leaving my family behind to experience this discovery alone if that’s what it must come down to.

We’re booked for the following day, all four of us.

Seated at the table, we could be in any tapas bar, but this is a tapas bar well considered. Exchanging interest in menu items over a glass of house made vermouth, this is a delicate matter, a strategy that must be carefully plotted to ensure a balance in all that is to be tested and tried. Our waiter, a likeable fellow that can assure you of anything with a wink of the eye, has an energetic presence that is only seen in those who have managed to find their place in this mad world.

Upon asking the generic “What do you recommend?”, the response is one I have not encountered before. Our menus are quickly taken back and a certain wildness takes over. His eyes brightly light up — this is his time to play.

“Do you have any allergies?” — No

“Do you have any sensitivities?” — No

“Raw fish and meat?” — No problem.

With a final “Any foods you don’t like?” to which my brother’s hesitant “cod fish” is met with a look of disgust, a response ensuring him that no, he will not encounter this flaking white fish, while at the same time ensuring the rest of us that we are in for a ride.

He sets off briskly and we are left to take in the atmosphere of this locale.

The concept behind Bodega 1900 is one of stability. It is an experiment in venture from the Adrià brothers Ferran and Albert after closing their famed restaurant, El Bulli. With Albert taking the lead, this is a place where quality ingredients are met with accurate presentation. Not in an impersonal sense, but in a genuine revival of tradition that seeks only to please with a consistency of preparation and execution, acting as a backdrop to conversation that won’t soon be forgotten.

Opened in 2013 with the intention of reviving the local neighbourhood place to socialize, drink and eat tapas, it is an homage to tradition. Intending to keep the atmosphere as a typical vermuteria, Albert Adrià’s concept lies in obtaining market fresh ingredients on a daily basis to reinterpret traditional recipes through a modern lense. Embodying the act of preserving, this place will only gain distinction over time. As it continues to draw from its surroundings, it can only age like a good vermouth. Complimented by 4 other Adrià restaurants in the vicinity, it is a gastronomic powerhouse for the senses if you will, of which the acclaimed Tickets takes centre stage.

Feeling buzzed on anticipation, our first round is brought out. Taken aback, it is our first experience with molecular gastronomy, it is also our first detailed instruction on how to eat an olive. Presented ever so delicately on a platter of wooden spoons, it is a consumption that requires one to press the green sphere softly against the roof of the mouth. A lesson in form taking shape beyond perception, the unexpected is achieved and never will an olive be regarded the same way again. A solid shape taken for granted up until this point. Our experience continues with dishes that form the spectacle we have somehow become a part of, each an act acting to challenge the next.

As we exit, it is as though we have stepped back into reality. The previous 3 and a half hours could have been a lucid dream. A cheeky smile on our faces, we walk by Tickets with a both a knowing and curiosity as to what the seated diners visible through the window are in for. The Adrià brothers are putting on a culinary show and it’s one that’s worth getting in line for.

Want to try your luck at booking a table? www.elbarriadria.com

In a frantic attempt to beat jet-lag before it even thinks of settling in, i’ve dropped my bags in my rented room and set off to establish my bearings. Criss-crossing through side streets and tiled lanes, it is decided that my brisk pace should keep me awake until exhaustion finally sets in. Barcelona is pleasant this time of year, the mid-September air is a treat, exhaling a collective relief from the bustle of those who do not call this city home. With no intention of stopping, I am charting a course of exploration for a later time, when I am rested and better able to appreciate my new temporary surroundings.

That’s when I discover Bodega 1900. I am immediately drawn by a woman savouring a glass of white wine, sitting with ease and contempt in an outdoor setting that appears to have been thrown together with a skill that only someone who knows what they are doing can craftfully accomplish. I, too, want to be this woman. I glance inside and like what I see. Food prepared immediately upon entrance, it feels as though you are walking into someone’s personal kitchen space. This openness is welcoming. I make a mental note and head back to home base to awaken with a strong brew and the intention of researching my new curiosity.

My search results kindle a jolt of adrenaline and I pat myself on the back for having such a sharp eye in my tired state. If i was tired before, i’m awake now. They have me crossing the street immediately in the hope that appearing in person will secure a table after discovering that only bookings for 1 are available online. I briefly consider leaving my family behind to experience this discovery alone if that’s what it must come down to.

Bodega 1900 is an experiment in venture from the Adria brothers — after closing El Bulli, the famed restaurant of brother’s Ferran and Albert. Albert Adria’s concept is complimented by 4 other Adria restaurants in the vicinity, a gastronomic powerhouse for the senses if you will, of which the acclaimed Tickets takes center stage. A spectacle

We’re booked for the following day, all four of us.

[check bill to see if waiters name is there]]

Seated at the table, we could be in any tapas bar, but this is a tapas bar well considered.

Exchanging interest in menu items over a glass of house made vermouth, this is a delicate matter, a strategy that must be carefully plotted to ensure a balance in all that is to be tested and tried. Our waiter, a likeable fellow that can assure you of anything with a wink of the eye, has an energetic presence that is only seen in those who have managed to find their place in this mad world.

Upon asking the generic “What do you recommend”, the response is one I have not encountered before. Our menus are quickly taken back and a certain wildness takes over. His eyes brightly light up — this is his time to play.

“Do you have any allergies?” — No

“Do you have any sensitivities?” — No

“Raw fish and meat?” — No problem. With a final “Any foods you don’t like?” to which my brother’s hesitant “cod fish” is met with a look of disgust, a response ensuring him that no, he will not encounter this flaking white fish, while at the same time ensuring the rest of us that we are in for a ride.

He sets off briskly and we are left to take in the atmosphere of this locale.

The concept behind Bodega 1900 is one of stability. A place where quality ingredients are met with accurate presentation. Not in an impersonal sense, but in a genuine revival of tradition that seeks only to please with a consistency of preparation and execution, acting as a backdrop to conversation that won’t soon be forgotten. Opened in 2013 with the intention of reviving the local neighbourhood place to socialize, drink and eat tapas, it is an homage to tradition. Intending to keep the atmosphere as a typical vermuteria, Albert Adrià’s concept lies in obtaining market fresh ingredients on a daily basis to reinterpret traditional recipes through a modern lense. Embodying the act of preserving, this place will only gain distinction over time.

As it continues to draw from its surroundings, it can only age like a good vermouth.

Feeling buzzed on anticipation, our first round is brought out. Taken aback, it is our first experience with molecular gastronomy, it is also our first detailed instruction on how to eat an olive. Presented ever so delicately on a platter of wooden spoons, it is a consumption that requires one to press the green sphere softly against the roof of the mouth. A lesson in form taking shape beyond perception, the unexpected is achieved and never will an olive be regarded the same way again. A solid shape taken for granted up until this point. Our experience continues with dishes that form the spectacle we have somehow become a part of, each an act acting to challenge the next.

As we exit, it is as though we have stepped back into reality. The previous 3 and a half hours could have been a lucid dream. A cheeky smile on our faces, we walk by Tickets with a blend of knowing and curiosity as to what the seated diners visible through the window are in for. The Adria brothers are putting on a culinary show, one that’s worth getting in line for.