On to lunch at Arzak. An exceptional meal in unexceptional surroundings. First time diners at Arzak should be armed with the knowledge that it is located on a noisy street on the outskirts of downtown SS in a very non-descript building. The dining room is somewhat dark and formal and from our table, unfortunatley, we could clearly hear the street traffic. A little damper on the mood, but the food, including four or five amuse bouche, and a visit from Elena helped us overcome these slight annoyances and turn our two hour lunch into a memorable dining experience not likely to be replicated anywhere. Aargh - I don't have the English menu:
At Arzak, even within the tasting menu, we have choices
Amuse bouche include a cold asparagus soup in a shot glass and four different skewers of bite sized food combinations -- a piece of aged manchego cheese with bacon, a piece of tomato and melon etc..
Sardines drizzled with melon sauce - cool green melon/oil reduction, Intense flavor
He has a perfectly poached egg flower with truffles. I have crayfish with waves of pastry. Egg wins hands down. Just an amzaing, unique presentation and simply delicious
I have monkfish, he has sea bass - I have no notes of the flavoring on these, don't know why.
The piece de resistance, fois gras drizzled with mint oil and an almond cream, saffron sauce. Heaven, I'm in heaven
He has veal that is roasted and served with the flavors of aubergine, tomato, but not a stew by any means
incredible array of desserts - " do you like chocolate? I will bring you two chocolate desserts and two non-chocolate" The fresh fruit and ice creams are even mor amazing than the chocolate desserts, which are outstanding.
We float out of the restaurant. Last stop, our favorite, Mugaritz