You may recall before we left for Spain I shared that I had booked a fine dining experience at Asador Etxebarri. It was a way for the Fashion Mister and I to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, the wood anniversary. We thought we were being clever because everything at Etxebarri is cooked on specially made grills over wood coals.
Originally we had seen this restaurant recommended by one of my favourite Australian Chefs, Neil Perry. He highly recommended it and suggested it as one of the finest restaurants in Spain. A few months before our trip, but after I had already booked reservations, we saw this amazing restaurant featured on shows by both Anthony Bourdain and Rick Stein.
Needless to say, by the time we got there, we were really excited!
The closest we could get a hotel was about 10 kilometers away in a little town called Elorrio. It was very pretty and we were next to the church, not a surprise as we were never far from a church in Spain. Our dinner reservation was for 8:30 and as we were driving in the hills, at night, we left a little early to ensure we could find Etxebarri and parking. It actually was quite easy to get there. I think there may have been about 10 buildings in the whole town! We were about 15 minutes early so we had a drink before going upstairs for dinner.
The Fashion Mister and I opted for the complete tasting menu which meant 11 courses! Thank goodness they were small or I may have burst. I took pictures of each course…although sometimes I forgot until a bite or two had been taken! I’ll share my favourites with you, and one not so favourite.
A Favourite: Which should be obvious since I took a couple of bites before I remembered to take the picture. Spanish anchovies are simply heaven and chorizo has long been a favourite. When served with a crusty bread that has been rubbed with fresh tomato, it’s simple but amazing!
I’m NOT an Oyster Person: And the fact that to me this one looked like a tongue sticking out of a bunch of saliva didn’t help! When the Fashion Mister and I go to some fancy place to dine, if we do the tasting menu and there are oysters, I will eat them but I have only twice had one that I liked. Once it was fried in a tempura batter and once it was covered in coriander/cilantro and chillies. This one tasted okay, but the look wa hard to overcome.
More Favourites: Really I could have shown you any of the remaining 9 dishes because they were all fantastic! I selected these because they really do have some of my favourite things in them or they were new to me but so yummy I had to share them with you! I love a properly done soft egg and the addition of white truffle was amazing! There was no way I could not share the artichoke dish with you, simple yet elegant and so filled with fresh flavour. I have never had sea bass before. I hear about it on all the English cooking shows but had never had the opportunity to try it. I can see why people like to cook with it as it is not fishy and has a nice white and firm flesh. The sheep’s milk ice cream was excellent. It seemed thicker than cows milk ice cream and had a stronger flavour that went really well with the berry topping.
Over all the food was spectacular and the experience was great. If you are on the north coast of Spain and have a chance, I would highly recommend dining at Asador Etxebarri!
- Get Organised Week – Holiday in Spain (astimegoesbuy.me)
- Anthony Bourdain: Eat out and tip big to save NYC restaurants after Sandy (eatocracy.cnn.com)
- Holiday Fashion – Back From Spain! (astimegoesbuy.me)
- A Lament About Tasting Menus Strikes a Chord (dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com)