Friday, December 31, 2010

Arzak, San Sebastian

This was one of the special meals we had during our trip to San Sebastian. I enjoyed very much the pintxos, tapas, steak but this meal i was also looking forward to. Had heard so many thing about Arzak, one of the pioneers in Spanish cooking. Many have followed his footsteps after...

My Aunt helped us make a reservation, which we had to do at least one month in advance,. It's not as hard here to get a table compared to El Bulli or Fat Duck or Noma, but you will at least need a few weeks or even a month.

We got there on time, at 9 Pm and were greeted by the Maitre. They were very nice and accommodating. As we sat down, they offed us some bread and I had a glass of Sherry. As soon as we were settled, they gave us the menu. I had no doubt that I was going to get the proper degustation, although my wife was not so sure, since she would not be able to finish everything. As I said, they were very accommodating and offered my wife a half degustation, almost the same plates I had but much less servings. She happily agreed.

For starters, Puding de Kabrarroka con Fideos Fritos

Arroz Crujiente con Hongos

Maiz, Morcilla e Higos and caldo de Alubia Blanca

Jamon con Tomate

I'm not sure what this dish was called but I think it was the Cromlech de Cebolla con Te y Cafe (This had pan seared Foie Gras inside and was delicious)

The first Seafood dish, Patata, Bogavante y Copaiba (Bogavante is a type of Lobster)

Huevo con temblor de Tierra (Egg with 'Earth'quake translated literally). Fantastic dish.

This was Rape marea Baja (Monkfish on low tide) as the play of words, the fish is served and as in low tide, you can see shells, starfish, etc made with the Jelly and using fish broth.

Ossobuco de Cordero. The lamb was excellently done and the bone was made of potato, filled with Bone marrow. Everything was edible. To die for.

Then, desserts came, and they were many. This one was called 'Jugando a las canicas de Chocolate' - Playing with chocolate marbles.

Sopa y Chocolate 'entre viƱedos' - Soup and Chocolate between vineyards.

Hidromiel y Fractual Fluido

Dulce Lunatico - Sweet Lunatic - this was meant to me lunar rocks..

This was our Petits Fours that came with our coffee. Everything was edible, including the Jelly bottle covers which were cola flavored.

Since Ria did not drink, I had a 500 ml. bottle of Marques de Caceres Reserva. I should have ordered a full bottle, as I ended up nursing my last few glasses since I was enjoying so much.

After coffee and paying the bill, we had our picture with Elena Arzak and Juan Mari Arzak, the father and Daughter team behind the restaurant. I want to point out how friendly and down to earth this team is. This made our meal so much more memorable, since it was a very relaxed dining atmosphere.

It was a great dining experience. I do hope some day I can return again.


Vittle me this... said...

wow this looks absolutely amazing!

Miguel said...

Was an amazing experience! Thanks

S Lloyd said...

What's really amazing with Spanish highest starred restaurants is their sense of hospitality. No snooty attitude. You really enjoy the whole food experience. With that said, I am glad you enjoyed the food there. I knew this place when his dad was fully ay the helm, and indeed that was solid 3* Michelin dining experience. Then a visit under Elena's direction was a bit less mesmerizing. I love Elena, she is a great loving Chef but in comparison to his dad,she is a bit less spectaclar. Still, years have passed by and it is time I give them a try.

Miguel said...

You definitely said it. Even at El Bulli they were so nice to us, also Can Roca...all 3 Star Michelin restaurants but still feels like the neighbourhood restaurant.

Juan Mari is still very active inside the kitchen, I guess giving orders and telling them what to do. Still this was a wonderful experience