Archive for the 'Mugaritz (2)' Category

Mugaritz – Two-a-day, Part 2

After finishing up a nice lunch at Mugaritz, Rocky and I wandered back to the beach for another swim in the ocean, then got cleaned up again, and journeyed back to the restaurant to finish out our two-a-day(click here for part one). Once again we enjoyed the ideal Basque weather with a glass of Txakoli on the patio before moving into the dining room.

mugaritz apple juice and lettermugaritz edible letter

mugartiz satiation eludes bread and olives

“Satiation eludes bread and olives…” An edible message, served with olive spread and apple juice to begin.

mugaritz fishbones

“Fishbones” with nuances of lemon, garlic and cayenne pepper. Just as crispy and dynamically flavored as at lunch.

mugaritz carrots smeared flowers

Carrots and their smeared flowers. Perfect little carrots with cilantro flowers. Amazing.

mugaritz edible stones clay potato

Edible stones. Potatoes covered with clay served with garlic mayo. Amazing again. Rocky was instantly won over after the carrots and these potatoes.

mugaritz shiso rau ram tempura

Crispy bites of Shiso and Rau-Ram dyeing. A shiso leaf cooked tempura style with Rau-Ram ‘dye’. Delicious.

mugaritz melon grapes

Grapes of melon and spiced seeds. Pieces of melon presented as peeled grapes, topped with dried tuna, wading in a fantastic consommé. Rocky nailed it right away that the ‘grapes’ were melon.

mugaritz cultivated herbs vegetables

A sequence of wild and cultivated herbs with pickled vegetables, and creamy dressing. A good mix of herbs, leaves, flowers, and vegetables with a little oil, salt, and what I thought was described as ‘egg yolk vegetable milk’. Solid dish.

mugaritz scarlet prawns

Scarlet prawns, fresh pasta and tomato. Simple and well-balanced. The prawn flavor a good match with the tomato. The rice pasta had a gummy density that was nice.

mugaritz green chickpeas

Green cheek peas(chickpeas) in a gelatinous stew with resinous perfume. Great stuff. The chickpeas, picked in summer, vacuum sealed and frozen, then cooked for a day were wonderful and had a good firmness. Served with cow tendon in a rich, strong, and sticky Iberian pork broth. The richness was almost too much for the vegetal legumes but the two tugged at each other just enough to stay in balance.

mugartiz bonding pestlemugaritz bonding mise en place

mugaritz bonding

“Bonding… ” Toasted seeds and spices served in a Mortar and vegetable broth. The same setup as during the lunch service, but this time the dining room seemed to be more energized and having more fun. For this round, instead of cod, Rocky and I were given radishes. I thought this was much better because the fish at lunch was difficult to cut and eat out of the mortar, and also this prevents having three white fish in a row. For a drink pairing they subbed out a spiced beer from the same producer as the pairing from lunch(Bob’s Beer). The beer complemented the spice of the radishes superbly.

mugaritz daurade amaranth vanilla

Daily catch with acidic sprouts of amaranth and vanilla. Daurade with subtle vanilla flavor that was really brought out by the Cava paired with the dish. The grains, buttery and tasty, were a good companion.

mugaritz sea bass red onion

Coastal fish with crunchy trimmings of aged sourdough and sweet pickled onion. A decent piece of sea bass. The trimmings of aged sourdough were fried almost like tempura and with the pickled red onion were great fun and very addicting. I wanted a bowl of it. We were blind tasted for the drink pairing. Rocky nailed it before even tasting it as sake, because she’s awesome. It was a good match for the dish.

mugaritz veal honeycomb

mugaritz roasted veal

Roasted piece of milk and eggs fed veal. Nectar of flowers and vinegar with the reduction from the roast. I’m not really sure how the components here all tied together, especially with the addition from the honeycomb, but this dish was pretty bangin.

Garlic flowers in tempura. We got up to go chat with a few people in the kitchen. While we were there(and the Nikon was at the table) we had garlic flowers fried in tempura batter served with parsley puree. Amazing.

mugaritz lamb brain ragout

A crust from the grill. Loin of milk fed lamb in a ragout of its brains. A decent enough plate I guess. Probably my least favorite of the meal. The loin was nice, though the ragout didn’t highlight the brain flavor.

mugaritz mint

Mint. A brilliant, fresh, minty, chilled bite.

mugaritz chestnut honey

Chestnut honey meringue with elderberry and grapes. The meringue had the density of a softer, wetter marshmallow. The grape infusion with elderberry drops had me tilting the bowl trying to finish it.

mugaritz red fruit moungo

Red fruits on crushed ice. “Moungo” pepper and eucalyptus pectin. Another amazing dish. A great pairing between fruit flavors. The lemon ice was light enough that it just accented the fresh berry flavor.

mugaritz peach peppercorn ice cream

The warmth of nasturtium and peppercorns with fruit from the market. Gorgeous. Pink peppercorn ice cream with peaches and a little herb. Certainly the best iteration of peaches and cream that I’ve had, and in contention for my favorite dessert of the trip. Rocky says it is ‘hands down the best dessert of the trip, easily’.

mugaritz pear cheese ice cream

Toasted milk and butter with cheese shavings and frozen pear cream. Nice pear ice cream. Great play of different textures, particularly the crunch of the crumbles.

mugaritz petit fours hazelnut

Some chocolate hazelnuts to finish up. As with lunch, I finished the box.

Some wines(and more) we were served:

mugaritz winemugaritz beermugaritz sakemugaritz winemugaritz winemugaritz winemugaritz booze

Overall, this meal was amazing. Without a doubt among my top meals of 2012. In the wake of this dinner Rocky and I had to fight the temptation to cancel our other reservations and spend the rest of our stay with the team at Mugaritz.

Date of visit: September 21st 2012

Mugaritz. Otzazulueta Baserria, Aldura Aldea 20. 20100, Errenteria. Gipuzkoa, Spain. +34 943 52 24 55


Mugaritz – Two-a-day, Part 1

I’m typically fairly slow to post about meals. Currently, it seems my slow speed has become a halt. In an attempt to get out of this slump, I’m writing about my two-a-day at Mugaritz last September. Since I met Rocky, I’ve told her tales of the greatness of San Sebastian and its legendary Basque food culture. So we made it the longest stop on our Euro-dining-trip last fall, and made sure to maximize our indulgence in local fare, from street food to three-starred.

One particularly notable day, Rocky and I had breakfast at the hotel, then walked a few meters to the beach for a nice morning swim in the ocean(as we started each day there). Come lunch time, we cleaned up and hit the road to Errenteria for round one at Chef Andoni Aduriz’s Mugaritz. (click here for round two)

mugaritz patio

We rolled up to the grounds, parked the Smart Car next to a brand new Aston Martin, and announced our arrival. A picture perfect day, we opted start our meal on their serenely arranged patio.

mugaritz patio snacks

We sat down around a low table on somewhat dirty and damp cushions and got started with snacks and a couple glasses of Txakoli(which I was introduced to on that same patio about three and a half years prior).

mugaritz kraft paper spider crab

mugaritz kraft marine paper

Flax and wheat “Kraft” paper with marine accents. Introduced to us as linen paper with spider crab. The cracker was extra light and delicately crisp.

mugaritz fishbones

“Fishbones” with nuances of lemon, garlic and cayenne pepper. This had a fun texture and a nice variety of flavor to wake up the tongue.

mugaritz scarlett shrimp sake lees

Scarlett shrimp over sake lees. It would have been nice if the shrimp had a little more density, but the spinach leaf it was served on was great.

mugaritz bone marrow toast

Grilled toast of bone marrow with herbs and horseradish ash. I really liked the toast and the leaves, though the snack as a whole was kind of cumbersome for finger food and really rich for an opener.

mugaritz marine chords woodwind

Marine chords of a crispy woodwind. I think they presented this to us as ‘crunchy cloud with sea animal’. These were fantastic, with a good maritime flavor.

We lingered outside a few moments longer, then were escorted to a fantastic table in the dining room.

mugaritz tomato sweet garlic

Tomato and sweet garlic… creamed legumes. This plate was quite amazing. A lovely, meaty tomato. Pleasant black garlic that was more restrained than most I’ve had. White bean sauce below that gave a very low-key umami. A real delight to eat.

mugaritz milk skin tagliatelle

Tagliatelle of concentrated milk lightly soaked in a silky juice of roasted squash and tomato. The dried milk skin noodles were a lot of fun, especially with the sauce and the pork lardo wrap.

mugaritz aromatic vegetable ravioli

Ravioli of aromatic vegetables. The ravioli had a grassy, herbaceous taste. The sauce, based with chicken I think, had a strong savoriness. Both had a pleasant amount of bitterness.

mugaritz hazelnut and beans stew

Hazelnut and beans stew. With ‘mother of pearl’. The hazelnuts cooked to a fantastic texture. The broth again was strong and savory.

mugaritz homemade cheese

mugaritz home made cheese cured

Portion of home-made cheese, cured in its own rind, mushrooms and fleshy leaves. This was presented to us as a guessing game of ‘What kind of cheese is this?’ It turns out it’s raw milk and linen seed brushed with some chemical(the name of which I forgot) to create its own rind. It wasn’t very good. The mushrooms were alright though.

mugaritz bonding pestlemugaritz bonding mortarmugaritz bonding mise en place

mugaritz bonding

“Bonding… ” Toasted seeds and spices served in a Mortar and vegetable broth. With cod and sunflower petal. This DIY dish was a lot of fun. At a certain point in the service, each table in the dining room received the mise en place for the course, regardless of where they were in their meal, and were given instructions to grind the seeds and peppercorns. It was nice watching(and hearing) the whole room do this together. Then an army of servers stormed the room finishing the dishes with the fish and broth.

mugaritz pig blood macaron

Macaron. Meringue made from almond flour, sugar, and pig’s blood(apparently a great substitute for egg white) with blue cheese filling. I think most of the diners received these in the kitchen before or near the start of their meals. They way ours showed up seemed like someone just noticed they hadn’t been checked off of our expo sheet yet.

mugaritz roasted hake loin

Roasted loin of hake with clashing grains of aged mascarpone, cauliflower and fresh almonds. Clean flavors. The cauliflower and almond were nice to balance out the fish and cheese, which both shared similar richness with inherent sweetness.

mugaritz monkfish bones stew

Slices of monkfish cooked with the steam of its bones. Crispy stew of roasted rinds and lilies. I think I’d have liked this quite a lot more if it weren’t the third white fish course in a row(I still liked it though). The crispy rinds on top were outstanding.

mugaritz guinea fowl lobster emulsion

Breast of guineafowl with lobster emulsion and its roasted skin. Beautifully crispy skin. An expert layering of rich elements without hitting too hard.

mugaritz iberian pig tail terrine

Crunchy terrine of Iberian pig tails with a bunch of bitter leaves and Txakoli sediments. Well executed crunch on the terrine. The sauce was good, with nice acid to cut the richness. I loved the thickness of the leaves.

mugaritz edible linen napkin

A taste of subtlety. Folded linen with toasted créme fraiche and créme caramel. The napkin was light and brittle with a citrus-like taste.

mugaritz childhood memory toasted waffle

“Forgotten memory from childhood.” Small bite of milky wafer with lemon ice cream. Like an unrolled waffle ice cream cone.

mugaritz almond fairy cake

“Traditional” almond Fairy cake. Ice cream cake with almond and flax seed.

mugaritz frankincense eucalyptus candie

Candies of frankincense. The perfume of eucalyptus barks. A little sweet. A little sour. A little smoky.

Some wines(and a beer) we were served:

mugaritz winemugaritz winemugaritz winemugaritz beermugaritz winemugaritz winemugaritz wine

And an impressive tea box:

mugaritz tea infusion box

And Rocky closing down the dining room(as usual):

mugaritz dining room

Overall a fantastic meal. Though far from the magic I remembered from my first visit, and a letdown to Rocky from the build-up I gave the restaurant. But we maintained our optimism and were just as excited to return for dinner in a few hours(which can be seen here).

Date of visit: September 21st 2012

Mugaritz. Otzazulueta Baserria, Aldura Aldea 20. 20100, Errenteria. Gipuzkoa, Spain. +34 943 52 24 55