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Pablo Carrion

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Everything posted by Pablo Carrion

  1. I also recommend Asador Bedua close to Zumaia for an authentic asador experience (make sure you try their tortilla de bacalao), grilled meat and fish is superb. And Etxebarri is of course well worth the trip (let them know beforehand, when you reserve, if you intend on eating the chef's menu)
  2. I recommend the kitchen table at Arzak, if your party is not too big in number and it is available. The service we had in the kitchen was great and very friendly, with Elena Arzak giving us recommendations on dishes.
  3. These are the 2 dishes I most liked at Azurmendi: -roast lobster with fresh herbs and smoked with tea. This dish is presented under a wine glass full of tea smoke and lifted in front of you so that you get a beautifully smoky and very well cooked lobster. -huelva prawns marinated with salts, citrus and flowers. Raw sweet top quality prawns beatifully presented under smoky salts and tiny candied citrus and wild flowers. Overall however, I have to say I wasnt specially impressed with the rest of the dishes. Maybe its the fact that they were all quite heavy and fatty with very few concessions to vegetables, and in my taste overprocessed and overcooked. I think more and more I enjoy freshness and simplicity in a dish... We did drink some nice wines, though. Their own good txacoli, a nice baigorri oak-aged white and a baigorri de garaje red, which I thought was very nice indeed. As for Etxebarri, there are no words to describe the quality of ingredients and the expert restraint exercised in cooking the food we had today...again the marvelous house chorizo, an amazingly rich bread and smoked butter with grated truffles, the palamo prawns (I can only remember prawns this good at Avenida in Gata, and then without the smokiness), oysters on seaweed, caviar, mussels with tomato broth, tuna belly, cod with roast peppers, and galician beef. Dessert was a cheese icecream with berries. I also have to say Victor is really such a genuninely nice, down to earth person. We have arranged to experiment baking/grilling breads in his ovens and grills this summer, when I will spend a couple of weeks holiday close to his place. We both agree that he would "close the loop" on his concept of homemade wood-based cooking if he made his own and unique doughs.
  4. tapas and "no nonsense" recommendations could be endless...you could get some caracoles at bar de los caracoles (calle toledo), tortilla at bar jurucha (calle ayala) or jose luis (various locations) , callos at san mames (calle bravo murillo), jamon iberico at 5jotas (various locations), puntillas at la monteria (calle lope de rueda), chipirones encebollados at la castela (calle doctor castelo), rabo de toro at taberna de pedro (avenida alberto alcocer), chorizo and alubias at casa casa portal (doctor castelo) ...just to name a very few, and all of these places will do other great tapas/dishes too. as far as holidays, you should check individually to see if they are open when in town.
  5. Thanks, he's even had some time to mature since that article. I'm looking forward to it. Saturday lunch will be there and Sunday lunch again at Etxebarri-for the 3rd time (cant get enough)-I want to try the tasting menu this time.
  6. Thanks! ← I would also recommend Pedro Subijana of Akelarre. I visited his herb garden, and I saw some of the seasonal ingredients he was using were sourced from local farmers and friends, and he believes highly in seasonal food. Also Fernando del Cerro, at Casa Jose in Aranjuez is doing marvelous things, the Sandoval brothers at Qoque, in Humanes, Victor Arguinzoniz of Etxebarri (also has own vegetable garden), the latter one of the best restaurants in Spain in my opinion, or at least that focuses most on excellent produce and mastering simple techniques to bring out the best of food. My own cooking is all organic, local and seasonal (Madrid area).
  7. Ive reserved to eat at Azurmendi and was wondering whether anyone had been and their opinion. I gather its a tasting menu only. Chef Eneko Atxa has run the kitchen at Etxebarri (personal favorite) and sounds very promising. I will definitely write up a post after our meal there (July 28).
  8. I think you are right, if I were objective. The bread wasnt OUTSTANDING but used to very poor standards in Spain, I probably found it to be better than the average...the petits fours were outstanding, for sure.
  9. I have been to Etxebarri twice, the most recent visit was this past summer. I certainly recommend the visit and I agree that the food is outstanding, especially the actual quality of the ingredients, which is without doubt superb. I also find that everything is at the same level, all the way from the bread to the final coffee cakes, make sure you leave a iny space for those. They also have a small vegetable garden so youre likely to get some very freshly picked seasonal produce. And the scenery in Axpe is really breathtaking. The only drawback we had on our second visit, and it really was a pity since I had been raving on about the food at this restaurant to everyone, was that our meat order was clearly overly burnt on the outside spoiling the taste entirely (on my 1st visit it was perfectly cooked). I told the waitress, she in turn told Victor. We were then told by the waitress that sometimes the flames in the woodburning fire get out of control and it can happen, that Victor would cook us another, but at that the same time, that the same thing could easily reoccur. In my opinion thats not acceptable of a master griller like him, and especially at those prices you expect him to cook everything very carefully, even if it takes 10 attempts.
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