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Arzak

November 13, 2018

We were dead tired after dinner the previous night, so we slept late and had a slow morning.

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We’re creatures of habit I guess, so we went back to Old Town Coffee. It’s just so good.

 

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Cobi got his avo toast again, and I went with yogurt with fruit and granola.

 

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We had another 3 star dinner later that evening, so we wanted to work up an appetite. We walked across the river and through the town. It was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed our time in the sun!

 

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We found another old staircase leading to a mysterious location, so we of course made our way up.

 

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We weren’t sure where we were headed, but the view sure was nice.

 

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Eventually the path lead to a road, and we decided to look at a map to see if we were actually headed somewhere real. Apparently there were ruins a bit further along, so we decided to keep walking.

 

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We came across these stairs… and decided not to venture down them. Too creepy.

 

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These ones seemed more my speed.

 

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And they lead to the ruins! We toured the ruins for a bit, looking at the old whale fishing watch tower.

 

 

 

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The views were pretty spectacular.

 

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We decided to head back down a different way than we came up. Cobi said it was a path, I wasn’t sure he was right…

 

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Sorry – where is this so-called path?

 

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Eventually the route cleared up and we actually made our way back into town.

 

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At this point we were exhausted and starved, so we stopped for pintxos and rum & cokes at Baztan. We snacked on blood pudding, sausage & egg, prawn, and a Gilda, the original Pintxos of pepper, olive & anchovy.

It was so beautiful out, we decided to find a patio to grab another drink in the sun.

 

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We stopped at Pub Terraza Txurrut, and Cobi got a G&T while I had a Radler. We sat, drank, and relaxed for awhile. It was still a few hours until dinner, so we decided to go back to the apartment and nap before our 9pm reservation.

 

 

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We walked the 40 minutes to Arzak, and I was really excited. Mostly because I was actually pretty hungry!

Arzak had a set menu, but you can choose between a few of the larger courses. Cobi and I went with different dishes in order to try more things.

 

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Our first appetizer was a citrus and mussel croquette. Great start to the meal.

 

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Not 100% sure what this one was, but there was a foie cylinder under the crispy cracker.

 

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Next was “Fortunate Fish & Cured Yolk”. Not sure how the fish was fortunate, as he ended up as my dinner…

 

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Another mystery appetizer. Our server unfortunately had a very strong accent and we missed a few key details. All I know is it was crispy and delicious!

 

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The final appetizer was called “Gilda”, after the original pintxos. It was a red pepper cracker with tuna and a strawberry jam. Super weird combo, but it worked.

 

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This dish was another of my all time favourites from the entire trip. It was horse mackerel marinated in local wine, and it was outstanding.

 

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Cobi wasn’t feeling too hot so we didn’t indulge in the wine pairings. Instead, I went with their house cocktail. It was white wine with amaretto, mint and orange. So good, I could have drank it all night.

 

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The lighting for the remainder of the photos is pretty terrible, and I apologize in advance. It’s hard to see, but there were delicious marinated prawns under a crispy krill cracker.

 

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This one was insane. Not only was the plating beautiful, but the perfectly cooked egg with crunchy corn, ‘tomato candy’, mushrooms and truffle crispy bits were to die for.

 

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For the larger plates, Cobi got the “Pretty Sea Bass” which was confit sea bass with crispy nori and sweet potato.

 

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I got the roasted Monkfish with pistachio shavings and soufflé skin. Both were incredible, but I think I preferred Cobi’s.

 

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For the next choice, I went with the “Symbolic Pigeon” which was roasted pigeon with blue potato and parsnips over oranges, vanilla and kimchi. It was so, SO good. I love pigeon, it turns out.

 

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Cobi’s was beautifully plated. He went with the “Clockwork Lamb”, which was roasted lamb with an acorn flour trellis, pepper ‘gears’ and black lemon pulp. It was also so good, but I was getting very full at this point and couldn’t have more than a small bite!

 

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Thank goodness we were moving into the dessert courses! First up was “Summer Frost” – Guava granitas with lemon ice cream and açaí. So light and refreshing.

 

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Next was hibiscus ice cream over beetroot crumble, with melon juice, dried bergamot and sumac meringue. This one was also very light and refreshing! They were a good ease into the dessert courses.

 

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This was a dessert I could get on board with – “Cacao Debris”. Literally a pile of shaved chocolate. Fantastic.

 

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Last was the “Square Moon”, which was a chocolate cube with a mint, neroli and kiwi liquid centre.

 

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Just when I thought it was over, they brought out a plate of petit fours! The yellow frogs were Turmeric, the chocolate frogs were Toffee, and the multi coloured frogs were Avocado. Then there was a passionfruit chocolate, and cinnamon sticks. We were fighters and finished them all!

 

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By the end, we were so stuffed. It was an incredible meal, I absolutely loved it! The experience wasn’t as over the top as Azurmendi, but I preferred the food at Arzak. The head Chef came out to each table after dessert, and she was lovely. She had recently been to Toronto, and complimented us Canadians on our top notch maple syrup!

We also met a lovely couple from Dallas who were seated at the table next to us and were also on their honeymoon. Turns out, we were doing the same walking food tour the following night! Cobi and I walked back to the apartment, and watched some Netflix before falling into a deep sleep. All the walking and food had really taken it out of us. Luckily I had two nights until my next Michelin meal to build my hunger back up!

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