I've been lurking around the absorbing each and everyone of your posts and reviews. The postings have been tremendously helpful and in the past week, I've managed to get bookings for most of the recommendations here: Akelarre, El Cellar, Comerc24, Arzak. I am still researching and would love some recommendations in Madrid. They don't need to be star restaurants nor the latest and greatest. I am afraid of over-doing the "moleculars" and not properly experiencing the "purity" of each of the regions' cuisine. Any recommendations from previous posters?
Secondarily, I'd like to enquire about what I should bring home which represents the best that each region has to offer and share with friends and family? Local produce which can either be shipped home or hand carried and won't spoil in days / weeks? Would iove to bring back a leg of jamon but i think its would likely break the bank and would be hard to get through customs in Hong Kong! However, I will be certain to bring back some jamon (trust they keep well). Any gourmet shops / specialty shops in either Barcelona, Madrid or San Sebastian area?
My itinerary is as follows: Arrive in BCN, drive immediately to Girona (2 nights), back to BCN (3 nights), drive back up to Figueras (3 nights), back to BCN and fly out to Bilbao, driving straight to San Sebastien area (4 nights), drive down to Madrid (3 nights). Seems like a strange itinerary but its basically tailored to suit the restaurant bookings. Have yet to find 1 "must have" meal in Madrid and other more down to earth BUT great regional cuisine places.
Many thanks in advance,