In late October we'll *finally* take our long-planned foodie trip to Barcelona and Bilbao. I have a couple of things still open but before asking any more questions I want to thank all the posters here who helped me plan this trip. You guys and gals were great, so thanks.
Special appreciation to PBSF, who has been a gold mine of useful info stretching back several years. To the point where I felt a twinge of guilt about reserving at a MB restaurant since I know you didn't care much for his cuisine :) Also thanks to Aleta, erica, ericat, estufarian, JuanDoe, luna2308, PhilD for his help with the Azurmendi email ... and probably 20 others, including every one-time tourist who posted a report.
So what's still up in the air are one lunch in Bilbao plus a Sunday meal and a Monday dinner in BCN. Here's the current schedule.
Tuesday (Oct 15) - arrive 11:20 AM in BCN after 20 hours of travel from the west coast USA to New York to Munich to BCN (half-priced tickets going through Munich). No plans for meals since we'll be stuffed on the planes and have a nine hour time zone difference but we'll probably wander down the Ramblas (we have a hotel a couple blocks east of PdC), cut through the Born and Barri Gotic districts and maybe graze lightly on tapas at some point.
Wed - lunch at Sant Pau. We are really looking forward to this meal. No plans for a formal dinner (we envy those posters who dined at two big restaurants each day but we just can't do it).
Thurs - early flight to Bilbao, staying at Hotel Miró across the street from the Guggenheim. I could use some help with lunch here - depending on how hungry we are after Sant Pau we could eat a 'big' meal at a place like Etxanobe (Luna2308 post - thanks) or Zortziko or a slightly smaller meal at Aizian, or dine somewhere nearby serving simpler, more traditional Basque cuisine.
We're basically open on this (doesn't have to be fancy or Michelin starred) except a) I don't want to make an advance reservation, which probably eliminates the three highly-regarded museum restaurants and b) we want to walk, so probably limit the range to 30 minutes walk from the mueseum area (i.e., not in Casco Viejo).
Friday - Azurmendi for lunch, probably the most anticipated meal of the trip.
Saturday - decided to skip San Sebastian since we'll likely return in 2014 and spend several days there, so flying back to BCN per my wife's request that we actually do some sight-seeing in Barcelona instead of zipping about northern Spain chasing restaurants (silly girl, but I still like her).
Reservations at Lasarte for dinner (sorry PBSF) since it's highly regarded and very close to our hotel. Considered ABaC or Cinc Sentits for this slot and I'm still not totally sold on Lasarte, but that's the current plan (reserved).
Sunday - no reservations, probably wander Barceloneta and perhaps dine on seafood somewhere. I've read dozens of posts discussing this and am still not sure what we'll do. Maybe just do something spontaneous since at times I feel like I'm already over-planning this trip :)
Monday - either Hisop or Alkimia, probably Alkimia for dinner but I'm open (most places are closed Monday). Probably dinner instead of lunch since from reading reports it sounds like they are rushed at lunch. I'm open to other suggestions on this meal though.
Tuesday - fly home.
So, if you have any tips on the Bilbao lunch or the Sunday & Monday meals in BCN I would appreciate it.
And thanks again for all your help thus far.