I have been a fan of Ferran and Albert Adria for a long time and was crushed when El Bulli closed. I was beyond thrilled when Albert Adria imagined and created a new and unique restaurant group. Our initial goal was to dine at Tickets. I sat online at 6 pm (our time) every day for a week trying for a reservation and ultimately failing. Luckily, we scored a reservation at Enigma restaurant. Over the next couple of months, I read reviews and they were either glowing or showed dislikes. My thought process for dining at Enigma was probably different from most people. I have dined at expensive restaurants and have been beyond disappointed. I love to cook and bake all the time and I'm pretty good at it. When it came to Enigma I was more interested in the skills and Avante Garde approach to food that is rare and special. To me, Enigma is a multi-sensory experience more so than just delicious food. After reserving your spot you receive a unique code and password to enter the restaurant.
On the day of our reservation, we entered our code and password. Walking down the hall we were greeted by the staff, our coats were taken, and we were offered water. To me walking into Enigma felt like stepping into a cave with cool colors, ice, and texture.
Our menu consisted of items we were familiar with, items we weren't familiar with and items I thought I would never try. The thoughtfulness, techniques, and flow of our meal were incredible. I also appreciated how the servers and chefs explained each dish and some of their process (some information was given after you ate the dish). There were a few dishes containing dairy and I ended up taking a few Lactaid pills throughout the evening.
I could not begin to pick out a favorite dish. The combination of textures, depth of flavors, and unique ingredients were truly special. A few standouts for me were the green mandarin Kakigori (bright and fragrant), Barnacle and codium (nice texture and slight sea taste), Pea "calcots" (fresh and true pea taste), the cured Lobster (I'm a New Englander and this was the best bite of lobster I've ever had), and the Autumn salad (who knew I would enjoy Sea Anemone).
With close to 40 creations one would think we'd end up being completely full. I was happily surprised that we were content and not uncomfortable. If you are looking for wonderful service, delicious food, unique ingredients, and a new approach to dining Enigma is a must visit restaurant!