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Friday, April 13, 2018

Arzak, the real gastronomic experience!





Sometimes reality exceeds expectation and that’s what happened in our experience at Arzak.
“The restaurant situated at the top of a hill in San Sebastian has been in the Arzak family for generations, but it was the charismatic Juan Mari who revived the menu to make it what it is today. Now 74 years old, the venerable chef still oversees the kitchen while his talented daughter Elena runs daily operations”.  Number 9 on Worlds 50 Best.
Arzak has recieved many distinctions during the years , with 3 michelin stars since 30 years as well in the top 10 of the world's 50 best. Chef Juan Mari Arzak has also received many awards and now his daughter Elena is following the steps. A special interview with this very special chef is on way as my first interview of 2018. 
And now let's go back to our visit at the restaurant. 
We were warmly welcomed by the chef Elena Arzak and got to visit the kitchen as well as the incredible wine cellar and the laboratoire where the magic happens.
We then started our dinner where we had a special vegetarian menu for us. Arzak is not really known for their vegetarian dishes as it more fish and meat oriented but the team managed an excellent menu.  Art & Gastronomy were met with new techniques while staying true to the Basque Gastronomy. An excellent service in the cozy and elegant restaurant, I highly recommend it while visiting the Basque country.
Follow me through the flavors, colors and textures of our tasting menu.
  • Visiting the lab where spices around the world are in small boxes: a library of spices! Here we can see the father and daughter duo, ready to experiment and create. 

  • The chef's table in the kitchen. 



  •  The incredible wine celler with some very exclsuive bottles of wines! A treasure with this original wooden pillar which they found from the original building. It is standing there proud  amidst the bottles and the metal racks. 


  • The dining room. 
  • Starting our meal with the aperitifs: Strawberry confit with courgette.
  • Leek lingot.
  • The most delicious corn cream with vegetables and dried figs. 
  • Seasonal vegetables: a priori a simple dish but the choice of vegetables, textures and colors is the chef's savoir faire to bring the most of each ingredient. Each vegetable is cooked individually and served in a palette of colors. 
  • Egg is a must at Arzak's table. Slow cooked eggs with ceps, candied tomatoes Corn de " Pozole" (hominy made from dried mais kernel). It was served in an egg shaped dish. 
  • The potato cube & black truffle. The way the potato is cooked and served, surrounded by fresh truffle is just as beautiful as tasty! 

  • The sorbet after an incredible meal: Chestnut frost and ice-cream with açai "granizado" , fruits & mint. 

  • Three Chocolate textures. 
  • Hibiscus tonic served on a beetroot crumble with melon juice and a bergamot & sumac meringue. A little balear island. 
  • Vietnamese chocolate wheel filled with açai & passion fruit syrup served on an original skate as an homage  to the many skaters in the Basque country. 

  • The petit fours: cute little chocolate frogs as the the emblematic rare frogs they have in san Sebastian. The frog is also the mascot of the public buses there. 




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