The last few posts have focused on wines from Spain. It’s not a complete coincidence. It seems as though Spain might be a special destination later this year. It’s not the kind of trip you get to take every year, so I have been trying to do my research.
As part of that research, I sent an email to the folks at Think Food Group who handle all of the PR for José Andrés, asking for some recommendations in Barcelona and Sen Sebastian. Laura, the Director of Communications and Special Assistant to José Andrés was kind enough to email me back within a few hours with a detailed list of recommendations. I wasn’t sure I would get a response and didn’t expect more than a few tips if I did. So her advice was very welcome and extremely generous. I have had a couple of interactions with them this year and both times have been beyond impressed with how helpful they are.
On a side note, made in spain was my favorite new culinary series from last year — and I think choosing to go back to Spain is due in part to the show and the enthusiasm José Andrés brings to the table. I would also have to tip my hat to the Spain episode of No Reservations, which probably sealed the deal.
I would queue up made in spain in Netflix if you have not had the chance to watch it. I also love the companion cookbook. I’m a fan — and a fan of José Andrés. I love his boyish enthusiasm and the way his affection for food, people and his homeland seem to be his greatest wealth — and a wealth he is more than willing to share. Obviously, the same can be said for some of his staff as well.
For anyone planning a trip to Spain or thinking about it, I am including the tips from Laura.
Today the itinerary was modified to include Paris as well. It looks like Barcelona for 2 nights, San Sebastian for 3 nights and 3 nights in Paris. Currently it looks like the Market Hotel in Barcelona, Hotel Niza in San Sebastian and Hotel de Buci in Paris. Any suggestions on food, wine, hotel, destinations or anything else would be most appreciated!
I expect this is also the last post of 2008. Best wishes to all of you for memorable 2009 — I hope this vintage is your best yet!
C/Rec 79-89 Tel 011 34 93 319 66 00
C Flors 12, Tel 011 34 93 441 11 39
To many, this spot is the consummate Barcelona restaurant. It is simply like heaven. The owner, Isidro, has attained legendary status in Barcelona.
Plaça de les Olles 8 Tel 011 34 93 310 79 61
Great tapas bar with some of the best seafood in town.
C/Comerç 24 Tel 011 34 93 319 21 02
A former classmate of Jose, Carlos Abellan, is the chef here. Before dinner, be sure to stop at a tapas bar across the way called Santa Maria, C/Comerç 17 (93 315 12 27), and then later hit Espai Sucre for dessert. Closed Sunday and Monday.
C/Elisabets, 9, Tel 011 34 933 040 513, http://www.dospalillos.com
Albert Raurich, former chef de cuisine at El Bulli. Spanish tapas with Asian twist. In Hotel Camper. Closed Sunday and Monday.
El Suquet De L’almirall
Passeig Joan De Borbo, 65 Tel 011 34 93 221 62 33
Quim Marques is a good friend of Jose. Best paella in town. Closed Monday.
C/Princesa 53 Tel 011 34 93 268 16 30
Jordi Butron’s restaurant is mainly dedicated to all things sweet, including a wide assortment of dessert wine. Closed Monday.
C/Tamarit 104, Tel 011 34 93 424 52 31:
Albert Adria’s tapas bar in the Sant Antoni neighborhood. To call it a tapas bar doesn’t really do it justice. Albert is perhaps best known as the pastry chef of El Bulli and Ferran’s little brother. Rather than the elaborate fantasies of El Bulli, here Albert is doing something more homey, rendering his version of traditional tapas. Inopia serves everything from croquetas to ensaladilla rusa to mojama to patatas bravas all done very well. There is a bar, a few hightop table and a counter open to the street. Closed Monday.
Carretera Real, 54, Arenys de Mar
Traditional, traditional. 40 minutes outside of Barcelona but worth it.
Breakfast here with their incredible chocolate.
A tiny, tiny bar but the owner is one of the most well known restaurant persons in Barcelona. Go only for lunch or breakfast very early. They don’t have menu but ask about the specials.
Quimet & Quimet
Poeta Cabanyes, 25 Tel 011 34 93 442 31 42
Small with a great selection of beer and wine.
Half an hour outside of Barcelona, you’ll find this gem that features the best female chef working in Europe today. 2 Michelin stars.
C/Diputacio, 269, Tel 011 34 93 488 09 77
Carles Abellan’s new tapas restaurant
Barcelona 08008 Spain
08001 Barcelona, Spain
+34 933 426 280
A bike in every room if you want to take a spin around the city
* La Boqueria: This is Barcelona’s main market, probably the best market in Europe. Don’t miss Petras, where all the seasonal mushrooms will be available. Head there early in the morning. Eat what you see. It is an amazing place.
* Parque Guell: check out the famous mosaics at this park
* Sagrada Familia: Gaudi’s masterpiece
* Tibidabo: worth making the journey up the hill to enjoy a great view of the city at night from the bar at the top.
* Barceloneta: the city’s beach
* Barri Gotic: gothic quarter of the city
B. Iturriotz, Oiartzun, http://www.zuberoa.com, (+011 34) 943491228
Aldura Aldea 20, Renteria, http://www.mugaritz.com/ (+011 34) 943522455
Closed Sunday evenings, Mondays all day and Tuesday afternoons.
Andoni Luis Aduriz’s place, about 20 mins from San Sebastian
Plaza San Juan 1, Axpe-Marzana, Atxondo, http://www.asadoretxebarri.com/ (+011 34) 946583042
Open for Lunch Tuesday-Sunday, Dinner only Saturday
Chef/owner Victor Arguinzoniz leads this rural restaurant outside of Bilbao
Herreria 2, Getaria, 943140614
Avda. Alcalde Elosegui, San Sebastián, http://www.arzak.info, (+011 34) 943278465
Closes Sunday and Monday
Juan Mari and Elena Arzak’s place
Loidi Kalea 4, Lasarte, http://www.martinberasategui.com, (+011 34) 943366471
Closed Sunday night, Monday and Tuesday all day
Martin Berasategui’s restaurant just outside of San Sebastian
Abandoibarra Etorbidea 2, Bilbao, 944239333
Paseo Padre Orcolaga 56, San Sebastián, http://www.akelarre.net, (011 34) 943219268
Closed Sunday night and Monday
Pedro Subijana’s avant garde restaurant in San Sebastian
Hotel Maria Cristina
Calle Oquendo 1
20004 San Sebastian
34 943 437600
Hotel Londres y Inglaterra
20007 San Sebastian
Hotel Monte Igueldo
Paseo del Faro 134
20008 San Sebastian
34 943 210211
* The beach: Playa de la Concha is a perfect horseshoe shaped bay
* Pintxos: wander from bar to bar try their specialty, good places to check out are Alona Beri, Bar Bergara, Txpetxa, Cuchara de San Telmo