San Sebastian

We got up early, we actually woke up early and got on the road to drive to San Sebastian.  It is a 5 hour drive from Barcelona.  The longest one we have.  It honestly wasn’t that bad except for the stretch of “badlands” in the middle where the topography is an utter wasteland.  The key to the drive is listening to a book on tape.  We are listening to The Boys in the Boat which is about the gold medal rowing champions of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  Quite good.   Driving into San Sebastian is jaw dropping gorgeous.  Green lush rolling hills with random old homes randomly placed on different slopes.  Stunning.

crowded streetWe made it to San Sebastian just in time for lunch.  The city was in chaos.  It appears that the first two Sundays of the September there are boat races.  The streets and the bars were packed.  We went with it and pushed ourself into two tapas bars and went with the flow.  It was really a lot of fun.   We plan on making our way back to many more bars one night while we are here.

stuffedpepperWe went to Borda Berri and had a red pepper stuffed with veal cheese and goat cheese.  Speechless.  I think I finally figured out the camera after this.

shrimpWe also stopped in Goiz Arugi and got a grilled shrimp tapa.  Totally different vibe which makes each bar so unique.

sansebastianThe city is really a gem.  Sitting right on an inlet.  The views are spectacular.  The streets are wide and many of the roads have no cars on them.

grillinrekobondoOur dinner was at Rekondo.  There are many restaurants here and many of them are top in the world.  We can only do so many of them as we travel around.  It is overwhelming, too much food and honestly the specialness of it all fades away if you just keep going to them night after night.  This was a wise choice.  A family owned restaurant with really good food and an insane wine list.  I believe they were given an award for having fifth best wine cellar in the world.  When you walk in there is this awesome open fire pit.

starterStarted off with a classic deep fried ball of cod salad.

riojaWe kept is simple tonight.  A Rioja from many years ago.

clamsClams with lemon.

shrimpcarpaccioCarpaccio of shrimp with a dollop of avocado and a pistachio vinaigrette.

ribeyeFor dinner we split a rib-eye for two.

redpeppersHad roasted red peppers on the side.  It was just perfect.  Highly recommend.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    wow on the Vina ageless producer who makes wonderful wine. honestly my favorite and one of the few from Rioja that I drink with any regularity.never had a bottle that aged from them.must have been an occasion–so congrats–even if it is just celebrating yourselves and this wonderful vacation.

    1. fredwilson

      It was surprisingly affordable for a wine over 30 years old

      1. William Mougayar

        i saw that earlier on your tumblr…was 1981 the year you met Joanne?

        1. fredwilson


      2. awaldstein

        celebrating something special with a special bottle is as ageless and perfect as it gets.i remember glasses and bottles from occasions with clarity from 20 years ago.i seriously thank the two of you for sharing some of these pieces of the trip with me.

      3. William Mougayar

        how was it btw?some say it requires a lot of airing. did they recommend you decant it?

        1. fredwilson

          They aired it out pretty well. It was elegant but thinning. I liked it a lot. Joanne thought it was past its prime by a few years

  2. William Mougayar

    the charcoal fire pit is amazing…

  3. Guillermo Ramos

    Joanne, Fred, I hope you are having a wonderful trip in my country!Most probably you have already left San Sebastian. If your are heading South, there are several spectacular cellars that you could visit (Hotel is also available). In Spain Cellars are competing to have the best architectures and are building incredible things! Just some examples “close” to San Sebastian:1) Marques de Riscal: (F. Gehry) 2 hours by car South http://www.marquesderiscal….2) Bodegas Ysios: (S. Calatrava) http://www.pernodricardbode…I live in Madrid, so if you need any tips here just drop me an email!have a nice trip and enjoy!

    1. awaldstein

      As I remember you can see the Calatrava building from the porch of the bar at Riscal.Beautiful both.My buddy, Fabio lives in Madrid and makes some often delicious natural wine @ http://vinosambiz.blogspot….

      1. Guillermo Ramos

        there are a lot of cellars around, although there are like 10 km between Riscal and Ysios. I think is not possible to see Calatrava from Gehry… maybe you have to come back again (and give me call to go with you) 😉

  4. P.K. Fields

    I am in heaven reading this. You are in one of my favorite cities and I am loving it as well as your pictures. Thank you, thank you! Will you take a picture of the menu at Arzak or at least the secondi piatti?

  5. Manuel

    Good morning Joanne, I hope you are enjoying the trip.I recommend you to visit Asador Etxebarri , not far driving from San sebastian, , is the best “cocina con brasas” that exist in EU. Is the Saint Grial where all the best chefs in Spain (Arzak, Adrià, Jubany…) like to visit at least once in life. You´ll never forget. Contact me if you need reservation. Thanks for promoting and enjoy Spanish culture