Saturday, March 27, 2010

San Sebastian (Donostia) Day 1

I'm back from my 3 week long trip and finally have some time to post some of the great food I had while i was travelling. I have several updates and will just update randomly depending on what I remember most.

San Sebastian, for me, is the mecca of food in Spain. I have always wanted to go to San Sebastian and fortunately, I had some business to do in the North of Spain so it was perfect. I arrived at around 6 pm, after a 600 Km drive from Barcelona (stopping by Santander on our way).

After dropping the bags at the Hotel, a quick walk by the Playa de la Concha was the first thing I did. Concha means Shell and the reason it is called this way is because the beach has the form a Shell. It was a nice 3 kilometer walk just enough to open my appetite just in time for some Pintxos and dinner.

Donostia is known for their Pintxos (similar to tapas), small bite sized dishes or food on bread. We decided to have dinner in a traditional Basque restaurant the first night, and reserve the second night for the Pintxos. on our way to the restaurant though, I happen to pass by Bar Txepetxa, highly recommended by Chef Javi Lecumberri of La Tienda. They specialize in Pintxos de Anchoas(Anchovy), so a quick stop before dinner was in order. To start, Gildas (combination of pickled Guindillas(Peppers), Anchoas, and Aceitunas Gordal (Large Olives) and their 2 best sellers: Pintxo de Anchoa con Crema de Centollo (Cream of Spider Crab) and Pintxo de Anchoa con Erizos de Mar (Uni)

Toasted bread, Incredibly fresh Anchovies (Anchoas del Cantabrico), topped with Cream of Spider Crab, a very typical Crab from the region, was a perfect combo. The Anchovy was perfectly complemented by the creamy richness of the Crab. All this washed down with the typical white wine of the region (Txakoli). I loved this place so much that I returned the next day again....

Our next stop was Casa Urola, for our dinner proper. Casa Urola is a traditional Basques Restaurant, serving traditional food. It has been open for many years and also highly recommended by several locals that we asked. We were quite full from our pre-dinner pintxos and wines, so we only had 1 first plate and one main course for dinner (to be shared by 2 people)..

For starters, Txangurro au gratin, another very typical and I'd say probably the national dish of the Basque region. Basically it is Blue Crab, mixed with onions, Garlic and a little cream, then baked au gratin. Even if very simple, I love this dish so typical of the region. Again, I had this with a glass of Txakoli, a perfect combination.

Our main, of course had to be no other than: Chuletón selección “Luismi Premium” a la parrilla. This one was 1.2 kilos (with Bone) and perfect for 2 people. Simply grilled, rare, served with Maldon Sea Salt, fries and a a green salad. We had this with a medium bodied Rioja.

For dessert, a cheese platter, combination of Idiazabal, Roquefort, Torta del Casar and Cabrales with some Membrillo and Walnuts. With this, we had another typical liquor from the north: Pacaharan, a liquor made with Endrinas, a type of Sloe-Berry. This drink is more typical of the Navarra Region, but still drank widely all over Spain.

Will continue with my Day 2 in San Sebastian in another post, until then, Agur!!


Anonymous said...

I decided that my next holiday to Europe is going to be Sab Sebastian. Looks like a very relaxing place. Incredible food. Keiichi

Anonymous said...

Forrest FTW...

-Sincerest regards