Sunday, December 31, 2017

ZUBEROA (OIARTZUN, GIPUZKOA, SPAIN)

Zuberoa
Araneder Bidea, Barrio Iturriotz
20180 Oiartzun, Gipuzkoa
www.zuberoa.com
Tel: +34 943 491 228
Cuisine: Spanish
$$$$ ($50+)
Sat, 12/09/2017, 8:30pm reservation
    (4 Piglets)


Zuberoa is set in the beautiful countryside in an ancient village of Oiartzun. The restaurant is housed in a space dating back to 600 years ago. It is a gorgeous spot and you tend to forget you're in a restaurant, but rather you feel as though you stepped foot into an old European cottage.

The food itself is traditional and modern with influences from the Basque region. The ingredients are fresh and the menu is seasonal. You can choose both a la carte or the tasting menu, which I picked to enjoy. The tasting menu will run you about 130 euros for a nine course meal. 

Interior
Amuse Bouche

COURSE ONE: WARM ARTICHOKE SALAD, SMOKED MACKEREL AND FINE HERBS FLAVORED CHEESE CUBES
COURSE TWO: ROASTED SCALLOPS, SHELLFISH ESSENCE AND SALSIFY CREAM

COURSE THREE: LOBSTER, CAULIFLOWER AND FENNEL
COURSE FOUR: MUSHROOM VEIL, STEWED CALF TONGUECUBE AND THYME OIL
MY FAVORITE DISH. COURSE FIVE: POACHED EGG YOLK, FLAN OF FOIE-GRAS AND CHESTNUT CREAM
COURSE SIX; ROASTED SOLE, ITS OWN JUICE, MOLLUSKS AND TOMATO

COURSE SEVEN: ROASTED VENISON, GINGER FLAVORED SEASON FRUITS

COURSE EIGHT: PEARS PRESERVED IN HONEY AND LIME, TEA AND CARAMEL ICE CREAM

COURSE NINE: CHEESECAKE
PETIT FOURS

Overall, Zuberoa is a great place to have an intimate dinner. The restaurant is beautiful and the service was on point. The menu was well balanced, from the appetizers, to the fish courses to the meat course. Everything was well seasoned and flavorful. I loved the foie gras dish as it was creamy and luscious without being overly heavy from the foie gras. I substituted one of the desserts for the cheesecake, since basically that dessert was the theme of my trip. Would I come back? Most definitely. 


Notable Dishes: Foie Gras and Cheese Cake


Friday, December 22, 2017

MARTIN BERASATEGUI (LASARTE-ORIA, GIPUZKOA, SPAIN)

Martin Berasategui
Loidi Kalea 4
20160 Lasarte-Oria
www.martinberasategui.com
Tel: +34 943 366 471
Cuisine: Spanish
$$$$ ($50+)
Fri, 12/08/2017, 2:00pm reservation
     (4.5 Piglets)


 


Martin Berasategui is a three Michelin star restaurant named after the Spanish chef/owner of the restaurant. He currently has the most Michelin stars out of any other Spanish chef around. His restaurant is located in the outskirts of San Sebastian, a 20-30 minute drive from the beautiful city. It is set in a picturesque backdrop of lush greenery and quiet, a change from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona or Los Angeles.

The restaurant is beautiful. Upon entering, there are a row of receptionists, almost resembling a hotel. You're greeted by the maître D, they take your coat, and lead you to a beautiful open dining area with a fireplace, making you feel like you're dining in a fancy living room. The service is on point and they offer both a tasting menu and a menu a la carte. Of course, I got the tasting menu...(I substituted one of the desserts for a chocolate one)
The fireplace


Delicious wine (Lalama 2013)
AMUSE BOUCHE

2017 RHUBARB CRUNCH WITH "BALFEGO" TUNA TARTARE AND YUZU GEL
SELECTION OF BUTTERS: BOLETUS, SPINACH, BEETROOT, AND SALTED.

1995 MILLE-FEUILLE OF SMOKED EEL, FOIE GRAS, SPRING ONIONS AND GREEN APPLE
2017 TORTILLA "GALO CELTA" OF HAM AND TRUFFLE

2014 RED SHRIMP ROYALE AND DILL WITH "VENTA DEL BARON" OIL


MY FAVORITE. 2017 CAVIAR GEL WITH PICKLES OF ASPARAGUS AND ITS CREAM, SALTED WITH ANANA'S SALT
2015 LIGHTLY MARINATED OYSTER WITH ICED CUCUMBER SLUSH AND K5, AND SPICY APPLE

2017 TARAMA WITH BEETROOT AND SOUR RADISH
2001 VEGETABLE HEARTS SALAD WITH SEAFOOD, CREAM OF LETTUCE AND IONIZED JUICE

2017 CRAYFISH OVER AN ANISEED SEA BED AND CORAL MAYONNAISE
2015 "THE TRUFFLE" WITH FERMENTED WILD MUSHROOMS AND COLLARD GREENS WITH "ALMA DE JEREZ" OIL

2017 GRILLED HAKE LOIN, COCONUT, RED CURRY, AND LIQUID AND CRUNCHY RAZOR SHELLS
2017 CHARCOAL ROASTED YOUNG PIGEON WITH RED ENDIVE AND OLIVE BITES

2017 ALMOND HONEYCOMB WITH BRITTLE BITS AND ICED CINAMMON


2015 BAKED CHOCOLATE WITH CRYSTALLISED PEAR, CINAMMON STICK AND CARAMEL ICE CREAM AND MINT MIST

PETIT FOURS

Overall,  I thought Martin Berasategui was great! The service was on point and the food was delicious. I didn't have one bad dish. The whole meal lasted me about 3 hours from start to finish. By the end of it, I was so full I could barely walk. If you're ever in the San Sebastian area, this is a great restaurant to check out if you want a 3 Michelin star experience.



With Martin himself




Notable Dishes: Caviar Gel, Vegetable Hearts Salad and the Baked Chocolate



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

TICKETS (L'EIXAMPLE, BARCELONA, SPAIN)

Tickets
Avenida del Paral-lel, 164
08015 Barcelona
www.ticketsbar.es
Tel: +34 932.924.254
Cuisine: Spanish, Tapas
$$$$ ($50+)
Wed, 12/06/2017, 8:00pm reservation 
     (5 Piglets)



Tickets is another tapas restaurant owned by Albert Adria. It is located directly across from his other tapas restaurant Bodega 1900, the more casual and easier-to-obtain-res restaurant. 

The restaurant is eclectic, sophisticated and dynamic. Dining here is like an orgasm of tapas in its utmost molecular gastronomic form. Many of the diners (I noticed) were American. The waiters speak English and offer either a Spanish or English menu. I dined right in front of the open kitchen where I could see everything and anything that comes out of the kitchen. Below are the dishes I ordered (keep in mind, I ate everything that came out as well as ordering another cheesecake in addition to the one I had already ordered). 


The interior

Plating

The bar
BOCADILLO DE JAMON (€3.80). 

OLIVAS GORDAL ADOBAD (€5.00 FOR TWO). This is still one of my favorites. I love this dish and I love how it swims in the vinegar/olive oil. Must order. 
STRACCIATELLA ERIZO (€12.00). 

ATUN CONFITADO (€8.70). 
MILHOJAS DE ATUN (€5.20). 

CUBO DE WAGYU (€4.80). 
MINI AIRBAGS DE QUES (€3.00). AIRBAGUETTE DE RUBIA (€6.40).  I loved this dish. It's airy and light with the richness of the jamon iberico. It goes well with the cheese puff. Get it! 

CODIUM ERIZO (€4.80). 
VIAJE NORDICO (€5.60). This is a beet and tartare that is delicious on a cracker. They asked you to guess the powder and they were surprised I figured out the ingredient! It's fun and whimsical and delicious. 

OSTRA ESCABECHE (€5.60). 

ATADILO DE BUEY (€6.40). 
FOIE Y ANGUILA (€7.80). 
FRAPE DE PASION (€5.80).  If you want a light dessert, this is the one for you. I love passionfruit and this was delicious. 

PIEL BONIATO (€3.10). This was interesting. I mean, it basically looks like a sweet potato with a sweet potato peel but once you turn it around, it's filled with a sweet potato sorbet inside. I would say get this just to try it out. 
MY FAVORITE DISH. MINI CHEESE CAKE (€6.50). THIS. IS. THE BEST. CHEESE CAKE. I. EVER. HAD! I seriously loved every bite to the point that I even ordered another one for myself. It was light and creamy, and a bit cheesy. It was nothing I ever had before and that is why I loved it so much. Everything about it was amazing and I wish I could have recreated it. You have to order this. 

Overall, I thought Tickets was pretty darn good. I loved my experience there and it was definitely memorable. The staff were personable and I ended up getting the chef's menu, where they create the menu for you based on what you tell them you like and want. During the meal, they'll ask you if you're feeling full and will give you the dishes accordingly. I loved the fact that everything you get is a surprise. The dishes were amazing and the service was spot on. The only sad thing was the fact that I couldn't get the cheesecake recipe so I could recreate it. 



With the pastry chef who created the cheesecake
With the executive chef and my waiter
Notable Dishes: Cheesecake, olivas, and viaje nordico.