I knew it was going to be good but...........................best and most eye opening meal I've had. The restaurant was run by the father for years (opened in 1968) and recently the daughter has taken charge. He still comes through the dining room though, as does she to describe the courses you're going to have. Good god they're nice and it shows in their food.
I actually had a hard time sleeping last night in anticipation. Right when I got out of my taxi in front of the place I met a guy from Sweden who was there solo like me, awesome to talk to him about traveling through Europe and I'm sure we'll connect later.
Corn soup-black bean soup
Fried shellfish sausage wrapped in Phyllo
Venison tartar, apple center, sugar crisp
Caramalized onion, curry and squid ink puff
Lobster, potato puff, lobster oil
Beet root crisp, warm oysters, potato, herbs and bacon
Poached then fried egg, coco crunchies, white truffle
Roasted monkfish, "choral", fish broth and onion shells, pepper beads
You know what I'm completely not used to? Smoking. Why is it that Europeans smoke so much, at least they have signs not to smoke at the bar (next to the pintxos) but still it's annoying. Anyways, speaking of which the ones I had today are below. To offer just a small $1-3 dollar appetizer is genius, it lets me sample so many different flavors everyday. The general quality of food is off the charts but it's funny to see the local McDonalds packed. Even the corner stores, the simple liquor, snacks and stuff shops have wild mushrooms and local produce. I haven't run into a sticker on a piece of fruit that said it was outside of Spain.
Last night was epic. The local soccer team, which has a stadium that I didn't even notice 5 minutes walk from the hotel, played Bilbao (their arch rival) for the first time in 4 years. It was 1 o'clock in the afternoon and people were going crazy and I thought the game was already over. Guess what, the game was at 7 o'clock. I thought that we were crazy about sports but this is another level. I met some friends and they took me to a special Basque club. The Basque population is passionate about their independence, a different language and they love to tell you about their history. Here are a couple videos of the march to the stadium, thousands of people in the streets just going insane and a couple snap shots of the city so far.
I expected more bikes to be cruising around. I've maybe seen 30 people so far (Barcelona included) riding around. And only 2 guys actually suited up for a long ride. Maybe it's because of winter but to me the weather is perfect, even 50-55 degrees at night. I really wish I had mine...next time :)
I had bought my pleather jacket on a whim but it seems it makes me blend right in. EVERYONE is wearing something similar, it's kind of odd. On the odd note, there is ham everywhere! The Iberico ham, like prosciutto it's a whole leg but from pigs with black hooves that only eat acorns. It makes for the best damn cured meat I have ever had. If only I could get a leg through customs I would give it to Dad as a birthday present.
All these fresh peas coming in Made some fresh pasta and messed around.
Fresh calamari from Monterrey Bay is also available, so a quick saute in hot oil. The sauce is made from sweating onions, celery, fennel and leeks with thyme finished with lemon and butter. Just a very bright clean dish to welcome spring!