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San Sebastian Restaurants: Recommendations


cabrales
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  • 1 month later...

I will actually be staying in a charming hotel in Sare.

Give me all your suggestions for the area.

I will have been in the Dordogne for 2 weeks prior to this. Flying into Toulouse and then out of Biarritz. Will use the Ideamerge lease vehicle. Really works out well.

I shall await suggestions!!

Joan

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Must do's:

At least one lunch or dinner at one of the area 3 star restaurants. I dined at Arzak which was wonderful.

A coastal excursion with fresh grilled seafood for lunch. getaria is a good choice for this.

An evening excursion through old San Sebastian for Pintxos.

A day lounging on the beach.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I have done some more reading and have come up with these 3

Mugaritz, Akelare and Berasatequi.

Would appreciate more info on all 3. Not even sure where they all are. I did read that Mugaritz was remote and difficult to find?? Where is Berasatequi??

Thanks....

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Berasategui is not far from San Sebastian proper, it should take you maybe 30mins to get there by car. I ate at both Berasategui and Arzak. I was a bit disappointed with Berasategui, the food was not nearly as inventive, nor the service was as good as I expected. Arzak on the other hand was outstanding. Mugaritz I have not been to, but nearly every person I have spoken to that went there was very pleased with the experience.

Arley Sasson

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I have been to Berasategui twice. The second time was even better than the first. It reamains my best meal in the area. A search should pull up my comments made while the meal was still fresh in my mind. Berasategui can be reached by bus and perhaps taxi from the bus stop, but I'd recommend a car, although it's a little hard to find from the center of Lasarte. So leave youself a little time to find the restaurant. Other than that, I have nothing truly negative to say about Arzak, Akelarre or Mugaritz. In fact, Mugaritz offered perhaps the most promise. Mugaritz probably requires a taxi. It too may require some stopping and asking for directions as you get nearer.

As far as prices, in October of 2003, we spent as much as 300 € and as little as 215 € eating at Mugaritz, Akelarre, Arzak and Martin Berasategui. The differences were dependent on many factors including whether we took a tasting menu, and how much and what kind of wine we drank (although we rarely had very special wines). ViaMichelin and Campsa should be able to offer a good idea of current prices for those places. Print editions of the Michelin Guides are widely distributed and should b e easy to find in book stores in the US, UK and elsewhere. I don't think I've seen the Camspa guide in the US, but these are two guide books most travelers should know. Come to think of it, both of those web sites should be able to provide detailed driving directions to any restaurant.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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  • 5 months later...

Hi everyone. I'm looking for info about pintxos bars in San Sebastian, and need your opinions on the following bars, as well as specific pintxos you've had, and any info about the chef/cook at each of these places. Any info is much appreciated. You can post here or email me at dianemehta@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Aloña/Berri

Bergara Bar

Bar Ganbara

Casa Vallés

La Cepa

Bernardo Etxea

La Cuchara de San Telmo

Txepetxa

Martínez

Txubillo

Astelena

Bar Gorriti

Bar Ormazabal

Bar San Marcial

Casa Vergara

Clery

Haizea

Bar Goiz Argi

Bar Juli

Bar Astelina

Bar Narrika

Bar Casa Senra

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I've been in a new one called Hidalgo 54. They also have a small restaurante at the rear back...and a good selection of Spanish wines with a sensitive vfm. Pintxos were nice.

Thanks! Do you remember which street it was one, or anything about the cook/chef, or certain pintxos you ate? What does vfm mean?

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Thanks! Do you remember which street it was one, or anything about the cook/chef, or certain pintxos you ate? What does vfm mean?

Paseo Colon 15 bajo. The owner is Juan Mari Humada and I think he was honoured with one Michelin star some time ago (and in a different venue). We ate a beef lip ravioli (ravioli de morros) with cauliflower puree and black pudding with egg yolk and something else I cannot remember. I found it good value for money. I'll be back next January and sample more things. It's not far away from El Lagar (Calle Zabaleta), one of my favourite places in SS. The owner is Kike and they serve good pintxos (in my last visit I had an excellent Cod with Vizcaina sauce). Good selection of Spanish wines.

These two places are near the Kursaal, direction Gros district.

Rafa

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Thanks! Do you remember which street it was one, or anything about the cook/chef, or certain pintxos you ate? What does vfm mean?

Paseo Colon 15 bajo. The owner is Juan Mari Humada and I think he was honoured with one Michelin star some time ago (and in a different venue). We ate a beef lip ravioli (ravioli de morros) with cauliflower puree and black pudding with egg yolk and something else I cannot remember. I found it good value for money. I'll be back next January and sample more things. It's not far away from El Lagar (Calle Zabaleta), one of my favourite places in SS. The owner is Kike and they serve good pintxos (in my last visit I had an excellent Cod with Vizcaina sauce). Good selection of Spanish wines.

These two places are near the Kursaal, direction Gros district.

Rafa

Many thanks! I've never heard a word about El Lagar. Is Kike the last name of the owner---are they relatively new, or have they been around for a long time. Is the bar close to Alona Berri and Bergara, or closer to the Kursaal?

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Many thanks! I've never heard a word about El Lagar. Is Kike the last name of the owner---are they relatively new, or have they been around for a long time. Is the bar close to Alona Berri and Bergara, or closer to the Kursaal?

Kike is the short name for Enrique. I think they've been in the business for 2 years or so but don't blame me... I live in Nerja, Málaga... The bar is close to both places :biggrin:

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I've been in a new one called Hidalgo 54. They also have a small restaurante at the rear back...and a good selection of Spanish wines with a sensitive vfm. Pintxos were nice.

In fact, it is Hidalgo 56 (tel. 943 27 96 54). I agree with Podolski. A most remarkable place for everyone (Juan Mari Humana is a very fine chef) and a must for winelovers. The list of wines is impressive, regarding selection and prices. The only point is that the place seems a bit small and I personally do not like much the decoration, but you can't always get everything...

A step behind, another recently opened winebar with good pintxos is Alex (C/ Larramendi 10, tel. 943 46 02 25), half way between the train station and the cathedral. Young and unfussy atmosphere, wide choice of wines of the world by the glass.

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Juan Mari is a very nice human being, so the mistake was a happy one. :biggrin: Seriously, this is one very serious chef who attracted attention since his early days at the tennis club on Ondarreta beach, but he's really lacked luck in San Sebastián. I wish him the best in his new venture.

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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I do not know how you could obtain this book because of your location, but it might be a great research tool. It has hundreds of recipes divided by restaurants.

Donosti. Pintxo a Pintxo

Pedro Martin is the author.

Great photos and a good source for cooking ideas for me. The recipes are quite general, without measurements or times, but a great book in my opinion.

Maybe more knowledgeable members of eGullet have their own opinions about the book...

Good luck

Alex

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Thanks for all this. I don't speak Spanish, so I don't think that book would help me---plus I'm looking for newer bars or just new tapas. Has anyone tried the food at Alex, or only the wine? And has anyone been to bar Ormazabal?

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I was in San Sebastian for 3 days as part of a CIA tour that included Barcelona. We had an unbelievable luch at the Guggenheim in Bilboa and then bussed it to San Sebastian. We had pintxos the first night and ended the tapas crawl at La Cuchara de San Telmo whose owners used to work at El Bulli. We had an amazing rabbit dish and a caramelized foie gras at like $3 a plate. The next day we lunched at one of the gastronomic societies on a beautiful pisto and a lot of hard sour cider while the president sang "old Man River" to me. That night dinner was at Mugaritz where we toured the garden with Aduriz. He had us a taste a bud used in the amazon to deaden the mouth (toothaches) and used it with an herb salad where each herb was placed individually on the plate with tweezers and we were directed in which direction we should eat the salad to get the perfect taste. Then we deadened our mouth with the bud before the next course. We crossed over the border to France the next day to visit Espelette and sample their famous peppers before returning to San Sebatian for dinner at Arzak. Arzak was the most amazing meal I have ever eaten. I have never seen anything quite like the pantry at Arzak. Elena and her father were charming and the food! I will put the menus on another post if you're interested.

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Restaurant Berasategui at Guggenheim

MENÚ “SENSATIONS, MEMORIES and FLAVOURS”

Lightly baked egg on a ratte potato bed,

Dressed with kalamata olive oil and red peppers nectar

Roast Vine tomato stuffed with baby squids,

With a black risotto and fresh cream

Roast fish of the day, with a tender almonds puree, tomato juice emulsion and fresh herbs

Glazed veal jaw,

Served with polenta and dried tomato, black olives and milk emulsion

Morsels of caramelized apple,

Floating in a cream of eggs yolk and Tahiti vanilla, served with coconut ice-cream

Curd of pistachio,

With juice of concentrated coffee and cream

Wines:

White “Viña Cantosán” 2003

D.O. Rueda

Red “Azpilicueta” crianza 2001

Bodegas AGE

D.O. Ca Rioja

Corn bread

Mineral water

Coffee and Petit fours

DAY 7 (29/9)

Mugaritz

PLATO VINO

TIPO

Aperitivo en la terraza ni nos lo permite el día, sino en la caseta Vino Blanco

Pending option Fillaboa 2004

D.O rias Baixas Gran Caus 2002

D.O Penedes

VERDURAS ASADAS Y CRUDAS, BROTES Y HOJAS, SILVESTRES Y CULTIVADAS, aliñadas con mantequilla avellana y salpicadas de semillas y pétalos. Aderezo «generoso» de queso Emmental.

VEGETABLES, OVEN ROASTED AND RAW, SPROUTS AND GREENS, wild and cultivated, seasoned with browned butter and dusted with seeds and petals. “Emmental”cheese generously seasoned.

TALLOS DE BORRAJA blanqueados en un caldo natural de moluscos. Pétalos de ajos encurtidos y flores de borraja.

BORAGE STALKS blanched in a shellfish bouillon. Pickled garlic petals and borage flowers.

NATA QUEMADA Y CUAJADA con brotes de higo y pulpa de cítricos rebozada en ceniza de verduras y algas.

BURNED AND CURDLED CREAM with fig shoots and citric fruit powdered with ashes of vegetables and seaweed. Vino Blanco Castillo Monjardín Rva 2000

D.O Navarra Guitian Sobre Lias 2004

D.O Valdeorras Terras Gauda Etiqueta negra 2002

D.O Rias Baixas

CHIPIRON DE ANCUELO SALTEADO, “CARBÓN VEGETAL” y brotes dulces acompañados con una “caseína de ajos”.

SAUTED LINE-CAUGHT BABY SQUID, “VEGETABLE CARBON” and sweet shoots accompanied by a “garlic casein”.

ESCALOPE DE FOIEGRAS TOSTADO. Nata fresca de soja y romero. Emulsión desgrasada de levadura.

TOASTED FOIE GRAS ESCALOPE. Fresh soya and thyme cream Skimmed yeast emulsion. Generoso Matusalen Oloroso

D.O Jerez Matusalen Oloroso

D.O Jerez Matusalen Oloroso

D.O Jerez

LOMO DE SALMONETE TOSTADO Y REPOSADO. Confitura salada de pescados de roca y azafrán. Granos de sal gris.

LOIN OF RED MULLET "GOATFISH," TOASTED AND RESTED. Savory confit of rockfish and saffron. Grains of grey salt.

Vino Tinto

Casa La Ermita 2001

D.O Jumilla Lynus 2002

D.O Ribera del Duero Alion 1999

D.O Ribera del Duero

PECHUGA DE PICHÓN con la bechamel cremosa de nuez moscada[sin grasa y sin harina]. Corteza de leche y mantequilla.

ROASTED PIGEON BREAST draped with a false milk skin and a nutmeg bechamel sauce. [no fat and no flour].

Torrija empapada en nata y yema de huevo, tOSTADA A LA SARTÉN Y CARAMELIZADA, crema helada elaborada con leche cruda.

French Toast soaked in egg yolk, SAUTE BROWNED and caramelised accompanied by a reduced milk ice cream. Vino Dulce

Moscatel Sarasate

D.O Navarra

M.R Moscatel 2003

D.O Malaga Molino Real 2002

D.O Malaga

CILINDRO HELADO DE CACAO acompañado de una crema de almendras y otra de chocolate y lima.

A CYLINDER OF CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM accompanied by a cream of almonds, another chocolate and lime.

Restaurant Euskadi in Espelette

A l’arrivée : Sangria Maison

MENU Pipérade Basquaise

Tripoxa Maison

Axoa d’Espelette

Pommes sautées

Fromage de Brebis avec

Confiture de Cerises noires

Koka Maison

Café

Irouleguy rouge

Pipérade Basquaise Œufs brouillés accompagnés d’une sauce tomate basquaise avec ail, oignon et piment, servi avec une tranche de jambon de Bayonne poëlée.

Tripoxa Maison Petit boudin de veau ou de mouton, accompagné d’une sauce tomate relevée au Piment d’Espelette.

Axoa d’Espelette Le plat le plus typique du village : viande de veau coupée en petits dés, revenue avec oignon et piment frais, assaisonnée au Piment d’Espelette.

Restaurant Arzak

MENU DE DEGUSTACION

Entretenimientos Arzak

Calabacín kéfir y frutas atomizadas

Carabineros en césped

ó .

Huevo del momento

Pescado del día

Carne (cordero)

Degustación de postres de la casa

Café con chocolates artesanos

VINOS:

Blanco: Gran Feudo Chardonnay. Bodegas Julián Chivite. Navarra.

Tinto: Arzak 1998. La Rioja Alta S.A.

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This is what I would do:

a) Have a meal, preferably lunch in a table by the window, at Martín Berasategui. A 15' ride by car from San Sebastian, a taxi will cost you around 15€.

b) Have a roasted turbot at Elkano (Getaria). Drive by the seaside.

c) Have a steak with piquillo peppers at Casa Nicolás (Tolosa).

For the rest of the meals, follow the pintxos path.

. . . . .

Ohh...and a cheap place to stay?

Take a look at: Pensiones con encanto

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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My choices: Mugaritz, Mugaritz and Mugaritz :biggrin: Kidding. In fact I had a very good lunch at Kursaal too. And MArtin Berasategui is worth a visit, of course. But Andoni Aduriz is at his prime. I would follow Pedro's advice, taking a taxi it's much much easier than driving to both places (Berasategui and Mugaritz). And a very good place to stay, I say with some pain in my heart because I do consider a secret that I don't want to spoil, is Hotel Niza, in the La concha Bay, if you happen to have a room with views to the sea it's the most beautiful place on earth ( and I am very close to Rio de Janeiro, I know what I am talking about).

I will actually be staying in a charming hotel in Sare.

Give me all your suggestions for the area.

I will have been in the Dordogne for 2 weeks prior to this. Flying into Toulouse and then out of Biarritz. Will use the Ideamerge lease vehicle. Really works out well.

I shall await suggestions!!

Joan

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Restaurant Berasategui at Guggenheim

MENÚ “SENSATIONS, MEMORIES and FLAVOURS”

Lightly baked egg on a  ratte  potato bed,

Dressed with kalamata olive oil and red peppers nectar

Roast Vine tomato stuffed with baby squids,

With a black risotto and fresh cream

Roast fish of the day, with a tender almonds puree, tomato juice emulsion and fresh herbs

Glazed veal jaw,

Served with polenta and dried tomato, black olives and milk emulsion 

Morsels of caramelized apple,

Floating in a cream of eggs yolk and Tahiti vanilla, served with coconut ice-cream

Curd of pistachio,

With juice of concentrated coffee and cream

Wines:

White “Viña Cantosán” 2003

D.O. Rueda

Red “Azpilicueta” crianza 2001

Bodegas AGE

D.O. Ca Rioja

Corn bread

Mineral water

Coffee and Petit fours

DAY 7 (29/9)

Mugaritz

PLATO VINO

TIPO

Aperitivo en la terraza ni nos lo permite el día, sino en la caseta Vino Blanco

Pending option Fillaboa 2004

D.O rias Baixas Gran Caus 2002

D.O Penedes

VERDURAS ASADAS Y CRUDAS, BROTES Y HOJAS, SILVESTRES Y CULTIVADAS, aliñadas con  mantequilla avellana y salpicadas de semillas y pétalos. Aderezo «generoso» de queso Emmental.

VEGETABLES, OVEN ROASTED AND RAW, SPROUTS AND GREENS, wild and cultivated, seasoned with browned butter and dusted with seeds and petals. “Emmental”cheese generously seasoned.   

TALLOS DE BORRAJA blanqueados en un caldo natural de moluscos. Pétalos de ajos encurtidos y flores de borraja.

BORAGE STALKS blanched in a shellfish bouillon. Pickled garlic petals and borage flowers.   

NATA QUEMADA Y CUAJADA con brotes de higo y pulpa de cítricos rebozada en ceniza de verduras y algas.

BURNED AND CURDLED CREAM with fig shoots and citric fruit powdered with ashes of vegetables and seaweed. Vino Blanco Castillo Monjardín Rva 2000

D.O Navarra Guitian Sobre Lias 2004

D.O Valdeorras Terras Gauda Etiqueta negra 2002

D.O Rias Baixas

CHIPIRON DE ANCUELO  SALTEADO, “CARBÓN VEGETAL”  y brotes dulces acompañados con una “caseína de ajos”.

SAUTED LINE-CAUGHT BABY SQUID, “VEGETABLE CARBON” and sweet shoots accompanied by a “garlic casein”.     

ESCALOPE DE FOIEGRAS TOSTADO. Nata fresca de soja y romero. Emulsión desgrasada de levadura.

TOASTED FOIE GRAS ESCALOPE. Fresh soya and thyme cream Skimmed yeast emulsion. Generoso Matusalen Oloroso

D.O Jerez Matusalen Oloroso

D.O Jerez Matusalen Oloroso

D.O Jerez

LOMO DE SALMONETE TOSTADO Y REPOSADO. Confitura salada de pescados de roca y azafrán. Granos de sal gris.

LOIN OF RED MULLET "GOATFISH," TOASTED AND RESTED. Savory confit of rockfish and saffron.  Grains of grey salt.

Vino Tinto

Casa La Ermita 2001

D.O Jumilla Lynus 2002

D.O Ribera del Duero Alion 1999

D.O Ribera del Duero

PECHUGA DE PICHÓN con la bechamel cremosa de nuez moscada[sin grasa y sin harina]. Corteza de leche y mantequilla.

ROASTED PIGEON BREAST draped with a false milk skin and a nutmeg bechamel sauce. [no fat and no flour].   

   

Torrija empapada en nata y yema de huevo, tOSTADA A LA SARTÉN Y CARAMELIZADA, crema helada elaborada con leche cruda.

French Toast soaked in egg yolk, SAUTE BROWNED and caramelised accompanied by a reduced milk ice cream. Vino Dulce

Moscatel  Sarasate

D.O Navarra

M.R Moscatel 2003

D.O Malaga Molino Real 2002

D.O Malaga

CILINDRO HELADO DE CACAO acompañado de una crema de almendras y otra de chocolate y lima.

A CYLINDER OF CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM accompanied by a cream of almonds, another chocolate and lime.       

Restaurant Euskadi in Espelette

A l’arrivée :    Sangria Maison

MENU  Pipérade Basquaise

    Tripoxa Maison

    Axoa d’Espelette

    Pommes sautées

    Fromage de Brebis avec

    Confiture de Cerises noires

    Koka Maison

    Café

    Irouleguy rouge

Pipérade Basquaise  Œufs brouillés accompagnés d’une sauce tomate basquaise avec ail, oignon et piment, servi avec une tranche de jambon de Bayonne poëlée.

Tripoxa Maison  Petit boudin de veau ou de mouton, accompagné d’une sauce tomate relevée au Piment d’Espelette.

Axoa d’Espelette  Le plat le plus typique du village : viande de veau coupée en petits dés, revenue avec oignon et piment frais, assaisonnée au Piment d’Espelette.

Restaurant Arzak

MENU DE DEGUSTACION

Entretenimientos Arzak

Calabacín kéfir y frutas atomizadas

Carabineros en césped

ó .

Huevo del momento

Pescado del día

Carne (cordero)

Degustación de postres de la casa

Café con chocolates artesanos

VINOS:

Blanco: Gran Feudo Chardonnay. Bodegas Julián Chivite. Navarra.

Tinto: Arzak 1998. La Rioja Alta S.A.

I was on this trip in 2004 and it was fantastic. Your itenirary was significantly different from ours and very interesting as well. I would have loved to have been there. I'm looking forward to a visit to Mexico with Michael and Co. this spring.

Welcome to eGullet! I would love to read more about your trip especially the Catalunya part now that you shared this.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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