Before I begin sharing on our culinary feast I want to note that after three weeks of traveling and eating being one of our main activities, Arzak put us over the top. It will be our last “gastronomic” meal of the trip. I have zero desire to see a deconstructed plate again for some time. Although I so do respect, appreciate, acknowledge and am at times blown away by these experiences they are overwhelmingly long, filling and rich. It probably goes under the category of “do not try this at home but do go out and learn as well as enjoy the experience (if you can) once a year”.
So here we go. The restaurant was humming when we got there at 915. Surprising since most of the restaurants in Spain are still relatively empty at 930. The restaurant is mostly filled with tables for two. The backdrop is simple greys and whites. Even the waitstaff has black/grey uniforms. The sommelier has a black leather apron which is pretty cool if you ask me.
Everyone always has to find something clever to do for these meals. The bottle is filled with a creamy tomato gazpacho and a piece of prawn is stuck on the end. You eat the prawn and in between take a few swigs of the soup. I would take that soup in a little bowl too!
Meat courses were up next. Third time for me on this trip I chose pigeon. Pigeon breast served with mixture of dried fruits and pumpkin, grape and sunflower seeds. Kind of like a granola bar. The tower is honey and pine nuts. The sauce down the middle is a rich brown sauce. Really good.
It was dessert time. Earlier in the middle Elena Arzak made her rounds to each table. Around dessert time, the father Juan Arzak, came and talked to everyone. He doesn’t speak English so he brought along a translator. He asked where we were from and then we talked NY restaurants. He wanted to know why I knew them all. I said I was sort of involved in food in NYC. He asked for a list of who and then proceeded to tell me all about his 15 year incubator that focuses on new foods. I figured I’d give him the whole list and wrote down every url from Eater to Food52 to Mouth to Rickspicks, Phin & Phebes, Mercaris, Platejoy, How Good and Kitchensurfing. Why not, right?
Through out the meal we went with wine to match each courses. I really paced myself and did not finish many of the dishes. Fred did not. It will be the last of the rich meals. Never say never but right now we are saying enough.
The service was amazing. The following morning as I was checking out they told me that Elena from Arzak wanted to speak to me. I thought they had gone on line and went through the list. LOL. But no they realized they had over charged us and were so sorry and had sent the hotel the correct bill. It was in the envelope that they gave me when I checked out. That is amazing. We would have never known. Very very impressive. We will most definitely be back to San Sebastian.