We were in BCN/SS 2 weeks ago and ate lunches at Akelarre & Etxebarri (after a fabulous meal at 41 degrees in BCN). After all the positive feedback on Akelarre, I have to say it was a pretty big letdown in our opinion. The view was by far the highlight for us. We tried both tasting menus and although there were a few highlights, we found a lot of the dishes to be lacking flavor and somewhat 1 dimensional. While everything was presented nicely and the service good, the taste was too inconsistent & did not compare to the views.
Etxebarri (and the tiny village of Axpe) we found even more lovely and beautiful that Akelarre. They have a great outdoor deck that was perfect to enjoy a few bottles of wine on a sunny day. The tasting was pretty good, although if I went back I would consider ordering the highlights a la carte (beef chop, chorizo, goat butter, octopus). Their desserts were fantastic! Overall a much better experience for us than Akelarre.
Agree with your experience at 41 Degrees - my husband and I went the following night May 23rd and it was perfection! We had tried to walk into Tickets and got lucky with a last minute cancellation next door. I doubt this will be as easy now that pre-paying is required, but I can completely understand that approach with only 5 tables a night and the preparation that goes into the experience. Without a doubt the best meal of our trip to Spain, and most memorable of our lives.
We followed up with lunches at Asador Etxebarri and Akelarre and were really disappointed, after the high of 41 Degrees. At the same price point, the food and service were no comparison. I would go back to Etxebarri for the views and order a la carte. Akelarre I would not recommend - tried both tasting menus and just found it too inconsistent with more lows than highs for us.