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All Posts related to ‘Fine Dining’

Restaurant Manresa**, Los Gatos – welcome to the subtle zone

Manresa

Finally I’m there. Manresa is allegedly (according to lists such as OAD top 100 for example) one of America’s top restaurants and one I’ve been particularly fond of trying. The type of cuisine focusing on local and of course seasonal ingredients, and bringing inventive dishes on the table that surprise diners rather than going into stereotypes, had caught my attention for a long time. Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Fine Dining,USA

Restaurant Quique Dacosta, Denia*** – Returning after 8 years

In 2007, only 1 week after a memorable dinner at Ferran Adria’s El Bulli, my brother and I had a meal at Quique Dacosta’s Michelin-starred restaurant El Poblet. Back then we found many parallels to the just-discovered molecular gastronomy of master Ferran Adriá but also, in comparison to El Bulli, we found the meal at El Poblet to be much closer to a regular meal, with slightly bigger portions and more time to savour what’s on the plate. We agreed that in a week we just had one meal representing the very foundations and another meal probably representing the next step of molecular gastronomy.

Only in March 2015, 8 years after that meal, I made it back to this place. A few things have changed. Mainly: the name of the restaurant isn’t El Poblet anymore but simply Quique Dacosta. Plus, it now carries 3 Michelin stars. According to many, a well-deserved distinction that chef Dacosta had to wait for far too long. Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Fine Dining,Spain

Restaurant Kaia Kaipe, Getaria – Grilled Turbot worship

The Basque country is like a land of milk and honey for gourmet travellers. Not only are there plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants, but also many much more casual places where great ingredients and honest cooking are being celebrated.

For example, when visiting San Sebastian, drive about 20 minutes South and discover the fishermen village Getaria in order to enjoy some delicious grilled fish. There are probably a dozen such restaurants to be found in the small town. Among em, Elkano and its sister restaurant Kaipa Kaipe are without a doubt the most famous. We visited the latter without a reservation for an early sunday lunch and were lucky to get the last small table without a reservation. Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Fine Dining,Food,Spain

Asador Etxebarri* – not just a side trip meal!


Somewhere on the way to Asador Etxebarri (Yes, we were a bit off the beaten path – blame Google maps! ;=))

Many foodies have already passed the doors of Etxebarri, and many many more will. When visiting the Basque country, probably aiming to dine at one or more of the acclaimed 3 star restaurants in Bilbao or San Sebastian, it is basically a must to also stop at Victor Arguinzoniz’ asador, a true gem hidden in the hills East of Bilbao.

When stopping there you’re in for much more than just a rustic meal in between two fine dining places. In fact, when having such kind of itinerary, I am sure that 1 out of 2 diners will say that they preferred the experience there to any fancy restaurant with foams, reductions and other chichis. Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Fine Dining,Spain

Restaurant Martin Berasategui***, San Sebastian – 25 years of modernism

Martin Berasategui probably isn’t the most talked-about Spanish chef these days. His track-record though puts him as one of the institutions of Spanish fine-dining, as his restaurant is holding a Michelin star for 25 years now and entered the elite circle of 3 star restaurants in 2001, 13 years ago.

So what was I expecting? Without having read much about him, not even blog reviews, I was rather awaiting some kind of classical Spanish fine dining, product-centered with flavor-combinations that have already proved successful and very few modern twists. Maybe something like the Spanish Troisgros or Bocuse.

However, I was about to find out that my expectations weren’t quite right. Although quality and choice of products clearly play an important role in his cuisine, Berasategui is even more focusing on creativity and flavor combination. And some of these were to leave us breathless and with dropped jaws.

A chef and a restaurant full of surprises! Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Fine Dining,Spain

Azurmendi***, Bilbao – on a journey with Eneko Atxa

After being recommended to do so by my friends the Spanish Hipsters, I got a lunch reservation at Eneko Atxa’s 3 star restaurant Azurmendi, located just outside of Bilbao. The restaurant building is entireley made of steel and glass and includes a greenhouse atop of the dining room. The dining room itself has a glass facade with a nice view of the Basque hills. Just a little unfortunate that a highway runs through this landscape. But honestly, in the end, this doesn’t matter at all. Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Fine Dining,Spain
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