(via Paris Do, Paris Don’t)
Perfection. It truly was. From the atmosphere to the service to the food, it was absolutely amazing. A life changing meal. It makes you rethink what a Michelin starred restaurant should be in 2011. It was my first dinner in one of the top 8 restaurants in the world, and there will really a before and an after Mugaritz for me. No stiffness, just the perfect amount of casual and at the same time not one single mistake, spotless from the wine service to the space between tables. And the food, well a lot of people say it’s sometimes too out there and complex, but we enjoyed every course, and there were a few that were out of this world. All I want to do now is go back, as soon as possible, and be mesmerized by Andoni’s cooking once again.
This was my most anticipated meal of the trip. And I was maybe expecting too much. I loved it, don’t get me wrong, but after being moved the night before at Mugaritz, I was looking forward to get the same feeling and I simply did not. It’s amazing, the produce is obviously as good as it gets, but this kind of simple just did not get to me. I had in mind for this lunch to be amazed by the purity of each produce, a bit like at the best sushi places in Tokyo. That prawn for example, which has become one of Victor’s signature dish, is beautiful but I can’t say it’s a great dish. Even if it’s the most amazing prawn cooked to perfection. I will definitely go back though, as I know the fabulous meal I had the night before clouded my judgement and made me way more demanding, when it truly was a superb lunch.
This was a great lunch. Amazing food, great service. And what a view! Very modern food, but not too molecular, just the right amount of twists and technique. And very tasty, which is what matters most. It wasn’t as mind blowing as Mugaritz, which has really become a benchmark for me, but the whole package was great and it’s definitely a place to check out if you want superb food AND the rest to be close to perfect. Get ready for the longest dish descriptions ever!
A short drive from San Sebastian, in Getaria, this place is absolutely amazing. It’s easy, you order the kokotxas, which are some kind of fish offal, it’s hake “throat”, followed by a whole char-grilled turbot. This fish is the best I ever had. The difference of texture and taste between each part, with its salty and smoky bits, is just pure goodness. It feels like you’re eating roasted suckling pig, it’s the same balance between “fat” and crisp. And finish with the cheese ice-cream, a simple dessert but which might be the best I had in Spain. A good and cheap wine list on top of that makes it a must go if you’re ever in the region (the other one in town, Kaia-Kaipe is meant to be great as well, with an even better wine list).