Weeknight Gourmet is Back from Spain!

Tim and I arrived home from our wonderful trip to northern Spain on Wednesday.  We had a wonderful time and enjoyed each stop on the trip — Bilbao, Rioja, and San Sebastian.  Beautiful scenery as well as good food and wine were enjoyed in each location.

The culinary highlight of our trip was our once-in-a-lifetime dinner at the 3-star Michelin restaurant Martin Bersategui in Lasarte, outside of San Sebastian.  For those of you not familiar with the Michelin rankings, a 3-star rating is reserved for the finest restaurants across the globe.  San Sebastian actually has the highest concentration of Michelin starred restaurants of anywhere in the world.

We enjoyed a 13-course tasting menu on a gorgeous terrace filled with orchids.  The food was incredibly inventive.  The chef used emulsions and foams in several dishes which are common in molecular gastronomy.  Each course was small.  But it was truly incredible how much flavor could be packed into each bite.  Some highlights include peach gazpacho, eel with foie gras and topped with caramelized onion, and fennel three ways — as a risotto, emulsion, and puree.  The service was impeccable and the amazing chef introduced himself to us as the end of the meal.  It was truly unforgettable!

The other culinary highlight was quite different from the indulgent meal at Martin Bersategui — it was wandering the streets in the old town of San Sebastian eating pintxos — or the Basque form of tapas.  We would move from bar to bar and order a drink and pick up a couple of pintxos — most of which are served on bread.  We enjoyed jamon Iberico, peppers stuffed with cod, tortilla de patata and many others!  It was a wonderful way to explore and have a fun dinner.

Overall we had a great trip!  We both loved Spain and hope to go back at some point!

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