Casa Urola – San Sebastián – País Vasco, Spain
My buddy Razvan (who was also a stage at Restaurante Fronton) and I decided to go to Donostia for lunch at a new place he will be staging at. It’s hidden in Parte Vieja (Old Part of San Sebastian) near Borda Berri, look for white glass doors. The downstairs level served pintxos and had a bar while the upstairs was more quiet, spacious, and nicely decorated. Razvan informs me that the Chef uses really fresh products and is very technical with his food. Needless to say, the food was amazing:
(FYI all the photos are half portion sizes, the full portion would be double)
Charred Pulpo – Potata Crema, Jamon Iberico Crisps, Iberico Fat Bread Crumbs, Smoked Pimentón Oil
By far the best octopus dish I’ve had in País Vasco. The giant octopus was stewed gently and then quickly charred on a charcoal grill. The chunks of tentacles drenched in olive oil was incredibly tender, juicy, charred, well seasoned, and garnished with iberico fat fried croutons. The pulpo rested on top of a bed of thinly shaved & blanched green cabbage (berza) and buttery potato cream. The toothsome texture of shaved cabbage combined with the smooth creaminess of the potato puree were the perfect compliments to the octopus. Accompanying the pulpo was iberico jamon crisps that were only cooked so briefly the fat was just beginning to crisp and melt. I love how many dishes served in País Vasco are garnished with some form of Iberico Jamon to give the dish a luxurious and unctuous touch. A sprinkle of smoked pimentón oil gave the dish a nice color and smoky sweetness to the dish.
Whole Squab Deconstructed – Foie Gras, Mole, Verdura Crema
Pretty bangin’ squab dish, also the best I’ve had in País Vasco (sorry Fronton!). The dark meat on the bone was braised in a dark chocolate mole. The liver was whipped with foie gras to make a incredibly creamy and savory mousse. It was then topped with some sautéed wild golden chanterelles. The breast was seared crispy skin side and cooked to a perfect medium rare.
Chocolate Soufflé – Raspberry Jam, Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Cream
A nicely executed souffle that had a liquid hot chocolate center.
Torrija – Coffee Ice Cream, Caramel, Brulee
Really awesome torrija, better than the traditional torrija. The inside was soaked with vanilla, cream, and the outside was nicely crispy and bruleed. The mocha ice cream added a nice temperature contrast to the warm torrija.
All in all, Razvan and I walked out spending around 70 euros for the food and beer. The food is very high quality and pretty affordable, would definitely want to come back here just for the pulpo before I leave Basque country!
Calle de Fermín Calbetón, 20, 20003
Donostia-San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa