April 6, 2011
On the move again. It is our last day in San Sebastian and then we are on the road to the country side, but not before our lunch reservation at Restaurante Akelaŕe. We had a few hours to "waste" before lunch and took advantage of some sites.
We made our way up a windy road to the restaurant. The views were incredible. The restaurant sits high on a cliff side with expansive ocean views below.
We began yet another feast. I am still full from the previous day! There was no way I could sit through another 10+ courses. So I begged Ryan if we could order À la carte (usually for the courses the whole table has to order the tasting menu.) He agreed. First the chef sent out an Amuse-bouche. This was an interesting take on your daily regiment, let me explain.
Most everything on this plate is edible, everything down to the plastic bag. The sponge was a buttery cracker that you pump out tomato basil spread. The jar of cream is actually a cheese sauce that you eat with the bag of bread crumbs, and lastly the mouth wash, was juice. Interesting. We ordered an appetizer of Iberian ham with flat bread.
For my main course I ordered steak. I have favorites spread out all over this trip, favorite overall restaurant, favorite specific dish, and this was the BEST dish of the trip!
This buttery steak was wrapped in a crispy potato soaking in brown gravy with lentils purée. The yellow sponge is butter that quickly melted into the sauce. So incredibly delicious. Ryan ordered roasted baby pig with tomato “Bolao” and Iberian emulsion.
For dessert we ordered an apple tart and chocolate box with banana ice cream.
After our meal was complete the Chef, Pedro Sublijana, made his way through the restaurant and introduced himself to each table.
When we were finished with lunch we hit the road to the Rioja region. We arrived at our Hotel, Hotel Marques de Riscal, in the small town of Elciego.
The hotel is designed by one of our favorite architects, Frank Gehry. [remember the wiggle chair I got to sit in] Our room.
We explored the hotel for the remainder of the evening. This is easily the best hotel experience we have ever had. The architecture, service and room are impeccable. The weather has also remained perfect thus far so we had a very nice time enjoying the ambiance and luxury on the patio of the hotel. There is a great blend of new architecture with the contrasting cityscape of old gothic and stone of Elciego.