Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 4, 5

April 4, 2011- Today we flew to the northern region of Spain. We boarded a local airline and took the 45 minute flight to Bilbao, Spain. It was just as I imagined; the lushest, greenest rolling hills I had ever seen. It was breath taking. For this leg of the trip we decided to rent a car. We wanted to be able to see as much of the country side as possible and stop off where we pleased, and we did just that. First stop was an old deserted gothic castle named ButrĂ³n. Unfortunately, we don’t know too much about it because it really is completely deserted and off the beaten path. We walked the grounds, grabbed a few photos, and were back in the car on to our next destination. San Sebastian.

San Sebastian is a beautiful coastal town with cutesy boutiques and home to many great restaurants that await us. We checked into the Hotel Maria Cristina. After settling in we went for a walk along the beach. We enjoyed a nice picnic of our own rendition of the locals’ sandwich. Bread, iberian ham, tomato heart, olive oil.

April 5, 2011- This day was long awaited, an exciting culinary day. For lunch we ate at A Fuegro Negro. It was a small restaurant tucked away in the pedestrian streets of downtown San Sebastian. The food was super creative. Highlights include: gazpacho tomato ball soup, olives stuffed with martini jelly, pork tongue that was really tender and actually pretty good, fried hake, pigeon with an edible POW! comic bubble, and beet ice cream with beet cake. This was one of Ryan’s favorite dining experiences. The restaurant was right up his alley.

Later that night we ate at three Michelin star rated restaurant, Arzak. Arzak was an exceptional experience from start to finish. It is widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in the world. Most of our restaurant reservations were made months in advance to us even coming to Spain, at that time Ryan had requested a tour of the kitchen and our wish was granted. I had no idea how many hands went into making our food. The staff in the kitchen outweighed the guest 10x. It was amazing to see the amount of people it takes in preparation of such a restaurant. After our kitchen tour we began our meal with an overwhelming amount of “amusements” or Amuse-bouche. Everything from glowing boxes to dry ice, craftily displayed the food. One of our favorite dishes here was the PERFECTLY executed monkfish in the “sand.” I loved the art on their menu so much I asked if I could have one and the chef graciously signed it for me. This was an unforgettable night.

1 comment:

Janelle said...

That is ridiculously awesome!! I cant even believe how beautiful it is! I am in love with that castle! Lets buy it! I get the North wing!!
EWW I almost barfed at that picture of the animal leg in that harness! I cant believe you ate that and pork tongue! BARF!