arzak dessert

Travel Series: San Sebastian, Spain, "Arzak"

Arzak

Alcade Jose Elosegui 273
Alto de Miracruz 21
San Sebastian, Spain
+ 34 943 278 465
For our nice dinner in San Sebastian, we decided to go to Arzak over Akelarre.  I was curious about this father-daughter team and after consulting with a few Spanish foodies, Arzak seemed like the place to go.  
When I saw the outside of the restaurant, I didn’t know what to expect because it looked quite old fashioned and plain.  As we walked in, we saw a completely different world inside, with a modern black and white interior.  Since it has three Michelin stars, we were really dressed up, but we almost felt overdressed compared to everyone else.  We were shown to a table upstairs, and one thing we instantly noticed was that most of the servers were women.  We of course chose to have the tasting, and ordered a bottle of Monserrat Blanc (because we had seen the mountain earlier when we were in Penedes), which was like a cross between a chardonnay and viognier (slight oxidized taste).  
The food was all aesthetically beautiful and tasted good too.  The only presentation I didn’t quite like was the fish course, which I thought was cute but slightly tacky.  I was a lot more impressed with the amuse bouches and starting courses than the fish and meat course, perhaps because I was starting to get very full, or perhaps because the element of surprise diminishes after a while.
One interesting thing about the service that I noticed was how unrefined it was.  The servers were all very friendly but everything they did was rather aggressive and rough.  It made me think back to our visit to Mugaritz, where they told us that they don’t want to have an uptight, formal atmosphere because they want their guests to feel comfortable.  Here was a three Michelin starred restaurant that obviously placed more importance on their food then hospitality, and not so much the formality and technique of service.  It was refreshing to experience this at such a renowned restaurant. 
Puding de kabrarroka con kataifi
Humo de jamon con tomate
Arroz amarillo crujiente con hongos
Antxoas con fresa marinada: Anchovies with strawberries- such a weird but perfect combination!
Maiz, morcilla e higos: Corn, blood sausage and figs
Beet chips with sauteed oysters
Lobster: Patata, bogavente y copaiba- the red thing looked like a tomato but it burst in my mouth!
Poached egg with bread crumbs
Rape marea baja: monkfish.  The shells were amazing because they tasted just like mussels!
Lenguado con mamia: venison
A deliciously refreshing herb salad with puffed rice
Jugando a las canicas de chocolate

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