We were looking forward to our dinner at Tickets for two months. Most of the food we had was very good to excellent with one exception but the service we had was very poor.
First the good part: Fried Pistachios, Peaches marinated in white wine, white rum, (a cocktail within the fruit slices) the famous El Bulli "olives" an explosion of olive essence, the cheese airbags (again an explosion of flavor) , the quail eggs with the amazing presentation, the manchego cheese with hazelnut caviar airbags, then the delicious foie gras with the tiny corn puff, a selection of a half dozen oysters done three ways (we preferred the natural and the red wine vinegar with the olive oil caviar to the ones with the ponzu sauce which masked the taste), the marinated fish with the shiitake mushrooms was delicious, then the sandwich with the pork and mozzarella with brioche was fabulous. The unsuccessful dish was the chicken with a BBQ sauce that really was not that great and which we didn't order anyway (more on that later), then two fabulous desserts with liquid chocolate enclosed in pastry and the second a cold cylinder of chocolate formed as a cigar and filled with hazelnut ice cream. The presentation was great.
Now you say, what could mar this wonderful dinner? Read on.
Now for the poor. We reserved early in the evening and from the time we arrived felt rushed through everything. Since we had studied the menu and pretty much knew what we wanted, we told the server we would choose our dishes but welcomed her guidance. At each stage, we consulted her about the dishes. Perhaps they prefer it if it if you let them decide what you eat. They suggested that at the beginning. It seems to be a part of their theater to bring out the dish and discuss the great things they've chosen for you.
We ordered four things from the first part of the menu. Despite the server saying they would bring them out one at a time, the peaches arrived just after the pistachios. We wanted to savor what we ate but they made it difficult. Each time the server brought out the last dish on that part of the menu, she said, this is the last tapa you've ordered, do you want to order more? Couldn't she wait for the one or two bites of the dish to ask us. We would have preferred that we be asked this after the dish was eaten so we didn't have to juggle the menu and try to enjoy the presentation and the dish at the same time. The dishes came fast and furiously. After the first round we asked her to slow down and she said of course but didn't really change that much.
After we asked about some of the dishes, she twice brought us the last dish we asked about instead of the one we had decided on. Perhaps there was a language problem. As a result we got the marinated fish which was fine since we were thinking about it anyway but the second time we ordered the bean, sausage and octopus casserole and got the chicken which we didn't want. We should have sent it back and I'm sure they would have been gracious about it. But we hardly felt like fighting the tide at that point. It was only an hour after we'd entered so you can imagine how fast this dishes were coming. We noticed other people who had come in at exactly the same time being served more slowly, so who knows what it was. Did they need to turn our table over to use for another group, did they not like the way we ordered? Who knows.
The final straw was when the waitress delivered the last main dish and she asked if we would like to have dessert outside at deserted tables in the front of the restaurant. Why we would want to contemplate dessert before we even finished our other dishes. Why would we want to change tables.? It wasn't even that warm last night.
We have dined at some great restaurants and are seasoned world travelers. We were polite and interested diners. I have never felt less welcome at any restaurant of this caliber before. The food was great and interesting but we ended the evening feeling like the whole experience was very marred.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.