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El Bulli Etiquette & Tips


Andalein
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Hi

On Monday the 17th we have the pleasure to have a reservation at El Bulli.

I wanted to ask the members, wether there are some do's und don'ts at El Bulli's,

if you can pay with credit cards and how much the usual tip is.

I don't want to get banned from further visits, so please help :biggrin:

Best regards

Andi

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Hi

On Monday the 17th we have the pleasure to have a reservation at El Bulli.

I wanted to ask the members, wether there are some do's und don'ts at El Bulli's,

if you can pay with credit cards and how much the usual tip is.

I don't want to get banned from further visits, so please help  :biggrin:

Best regards

Andi

Hi Andi,

You can do whatever you want, wear flip flops and pay with credit card, they try to made your life the easiest for an unique experience.

Just enjoy and relax.

Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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Every person I have spoken to and almost every one on here that have been all have the same response. It is casual, laid back, friendly, fun, all while being completely professional and quite enjoyable. I would not fear doing anything wrong. It is sincerely their pleasure to serve you. Relax, go hungry, and do not be afraid to ask Luis if you have any questions about anything dealing with your visit.

The only negative thing I ever heard from someone that went there is that the drive back to town late at night after some wine was a bummer and by the time they reached their hotel they had lost much of the "glow" they had after the meal. Perhaps investing in a cab would be wise.

David.

David West

A.K.A. The Mushroom Man

Founder of http://finepalatefoods.com/

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Would definitely recommend a taxi.

Get a card from the guy who drops you off and the restaurant will call them when you are ready to go.

Most important thing i would say is to just relax and enjoy. There are so many expectations and thoughts with a restaurant with such a reputation but it is very friendly so just go with an open mind and savour the ride.

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What do most people wear there? Is there an eclectic mix of people in suits and others in flip flops?

Most people wear casual, but you can find people in fancy dresses and other in shorts. I tend to think that people go there for the food not to see and be seen.

Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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  • 2 weeks later...
Banned? Really?

If you are driving, allow enough time. Unless that road has really been changed since we've been there, it is slow going. A fabulous view for the one who dares to look, however. And a magical setting. We did go before folks in the US knew about Adria. The kitchen is the most amazing one I've ever seen after a meal has been served. It was so amazingly orderly.

Enjoy the experience. As has been said, it is very relaxed and welcoming.

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One note: El Bulli is the most laid back 3-star I know, and people are known to arrive by boat or swim before eating. However, an American would be wrong to read "casual" as beachwear or mallwear. "Dressy casual" would be the most accurate and safest.

One huge no-no: reserving under one name and then having someone else turn up instead. This will get you blacklisted if they ever catch you. Luis Garcia wants to stop the black market horsetrading in reservations.

Enjoy! It's the most beautiful restaurant I know.

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One huge no-no: reserving under one name and then having someone else turn up instead. This will  get you blacklisted if they ever catch you. Luis Garcia wants to stop the black market horsetrading in reservations.

This makes sense if one person is reserving large blocks and selling them off. but its kind of nuts if I have a reservation, cant make it, and give it to a friend. I assume that one could make a phone call and explain the situation in that case?

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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One huge no-no: reserving under one name and then having someone else turn up instead. This will  get you blacklisted if they ever catch you. Luis Garcia wants to stop the black market horsetrading in reservations.

This makes sense if one person is reserving large blocks and selling them off. but its kind of nuts if I have a reservation, cant make it, and give it to a friend. I assume that one could make a phone call and explain the situation in that case?

No, it's not all right. A friend of mine is an influential member of the Barcelona food world. He made a reservation for 4 in his name recently but decided not to accompany his friends. He says he called the restaurant to explain, but they were very angry that he was not coming. When we went last week, we asked Luis Garcia if he could join us (the table was plenty big enough). The answer was no.

Luis says that El Bulli reserves the right to determine who gets the table. I suppose the way around this would be to have the friend impersonate you and pay in cash. This works only if you are unknown to them and the person is the same sex as yourself.

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Their call to go with an empty table or to notify someone on the waiting list then. They can pull it off with the demand for a table. What is the restaurant equivalent (with similar connotations) of 'diva' or 'prima donna'?

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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for future reference, what is the best way to make a reservation there? is there one day out of the year when they are taken, a la herbfarm, or some similar such procedure?

can't believe it's not butter? i can.

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for future reference, what is the best way to make a reservation there?  is there one day out of the year when they are taken, a la herbfarm, or some similar such procedure?

How to Get a Reservation at El Bulli - Season 2006

Note the date of Louisa's blog entry. Every year in mid-October, Luis Garcia opens the reservation books at El Bulli. Four days later, he closes them with more requests than he has seats. He has his own system for determining who gets a reservation. Consider a request to be like buying a lottery ticket.

Edited by rcianci (log)
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  • 10 months later...
:cool: Going to be at El Bulli mid June, I am ready for the food but Spanish Wine not my expertise.To all you past El Bulliers, what do suggest in red and white wines.
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:cool: Going to be at El Bulli mid June, I am ready for the food but Spanish Wine not my expertise.To all you past El Bulliers, what do suggest in red and white wines.

The meals tend to be very receptive to white wines, especially the first 2/3 or so. This is a good time to explore Spanish wines and they do a good job of providing interesting wines that are reasonable matches for the food. I believe that I listed the wines I had in my posts. If you go with their suggestions, I don't think that you will be disappointed If it makes you more comfortable you can give them price parameters, but my experience is such that the wines they have recommended have been reasonable. Generally speaking for the whites, cavas, albariños, and verdejos from Rueda are all excellent and safe choices although there are some good local whites as well in addition to cavas. The local reds are good too.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I'd start with champagne --or cava, if you must-- and then some white from Rias Baixas, if you want to go the Spanish way. I wouldn't have a red wine.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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if you enter elBulli.com, you can watch and download the wine list, with prices.

last year ,we also went with their suggestions and it was more than ok.

compared with other 3 star restaurants the prices are reasonable.

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I'd start with champagne --or cava, if you must-- and then some white from Rias Baixas, if you want to go the Spanish way. I wouldn't have a red wine.

This is exactly the advice we got from the sommelier last year. But he also included a glass of red for two of the more robust dishes (2 pours but only charged 1 pour per glass). The prices are unbelievably reasonable and there is no attempt to upsell. If you drank water all night, they would be fine with it, and the water is very reasonably priced too.

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I totally agree with the above posts, and one does have an opportunity to taste lesser known wines that I definetely consider a bargain quality/price wise. If you're a sucker for big names the opportunity is more than ample with names like Dauvissat, Coche-Dury, Leflaive, top Italians and French wines as weell. All of them at less than average price.

Two albarinho gems from our last visit this May:

Do Ferreiro Cepas Viejas 2004(?) that is slightly crispier than its corresponding Seleccion de Anada from Pazo de Senorans.

Also Gran Vegadares 2002, fantastically sublime floral overtones with a mineral foundation. The 2001 is better if you can still get it. We were first offered the 1999 but that was past its prime, changed without any objection, rather we had the impression that they more than akonwledged our judgment.

The Riesling Vi de Gel from Gramona is a great dessert wine..

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When we visited El Bulli in April we asked to start off with a manzanilla which and a cava, we then asked the waiting staff to bring us their own suggestions for suitable wines to be paired with the food (the sherry & cava that we had were also the restaurant's own choices). The aforementioned were followed by two white wines, one red and a desert wine.

I have just dug out the bill and this is what they gave us along with the prices charged (in Euros):

Manzanilla Pasada Pastrana €20.00

Gran Claustro B.N. 04 €35.00

Pardas Xarel.LO 05 €35.00

Augustus Chardonay 05 €45.00

D.Valdepusa Cabernet 02 €45.00

MR 05 €35.00

We were also charged €3.00 per bottle for mineral water.

We asked the restaurant to bring us their recommendations for two reasons, firstly I know little about Spanish wines and secondly as we had no idea what we were going to eat it would have made it difficult to decide what to order.

I am glad that we decided to do it this way, the wines we were brought were all excellent pairings and reasonable priced.

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