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 »
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 »
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 »
I’ve come across this wine a couple of times now. Posts about it have already been published here in May and July of 2008 and just recently I had it twice in a matter of only 3 months and now again I am popping a cork of this 2003 Alion from Ribera Del Duero. Of course it belongs to a category of wines that are a little controversial as it opposes aficionados of modern Spanish wines and those who prefer the more traditional ones. But somehow I believe Alion is right in between these two styles: a modern interpretation of traditional Spanish wines as to say, but not a super-extracted monster, although this verdict might also depend on drinking-circumstances. Read the rest of this entry »
Jay Miller describes this 85% Syrah wine from the Toledo region near Madrid as a “Côte-Rôtie” look-alike. I would qualify this comparison as a sliiiiight exaggeration (not surprising coming from Jay Miller, many would say). Read the rest of this entry »
Red wines from Spain often happen to be a bit too modern for my taste: too oaky, overly fruity, basically just very exchangeable in a New World sense of wine. But if one looks a bit off the beaten path, some very interesting and authentic bottles can be found.
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