Arzak: We ate our rent money

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We made reservations on the Internet before we left, but we had no way of knowing if the reservation was confirmed. All we knew is that we had to submit a credit card in the process and there would be a fee of $60 euro for a cancelled reservation. So the pressure was on. There was a bit of a hassle, but reservations were confirmed the night of, and with some fuzzy instructions, we found the place on our own.

The small lobby at Arzak is nothing special. You wouldn't think you were in one of the top restaurants in the world, but then, as your host waves you over to follow her to your table, a frosted glass panel slides automatically, and you know you are entering somewhere special, and expensive.

The menu was intimidating, even though we had it in English. So instead we decided to go with the mysterious and pricey tasting menu. All it said was "tasting menu". Sounds good.

Our waiter briefly explained the choices (we got a copy at the end - above). We selected from the options, and so began the consistent flow of silverware and dishes. At first, I was intimidated of taking pictures. The place was so fancy, and therefore I didn't get the first and probably prettiest dish, figs with caramelized foie gras. But then I got over my fear after thinking how much this was costing me. Let me just tell you how delicious that first dish was. I have never tasted something so good, it was sweet, barely warm, with the little fig seeds bursting like stars in my mouth. And I don't even like foie gras! Oh we also had a bunch of "on the house" appetizers that were delicious and interesting.
My next dish was a langostino salad you see above. It was perfect. The husband had some poached egg with truffles and other goodies, I don't care for eggs, so no photo.

We both chose the white tuna, barely seared, served with a pickle sauce and an onion with melon inside. It was delicious, and the fish fatty and fresh.

For the main course, I had a winner. Squab, so rare I was convinced it was going to fly off my plate and embarrass us both. As my sides, I had the most interesting bubbles, filled with liquid silver (that's the dark purple), and liquid potato (lavender). The other yellow balls, were just regular potatoes. So this liquid silver, it was good. I was suspicious, but the bubble film just melted in my mouth and out came the sweet, yes sweet, silver juice. The squab was good too. Definitely the rarest piece of meat I had ever eaten, until a few days later, but it was tasty.

The husband had selected a lamb dish. And it was good, but nothing extraordinary like my little creation, so he was jealous. I gave him one silver bubble, so he wouldn't cry.

For dessert, we had a bunch of stuff, they just kept bring us more and more. We started with chocolate bubbles, filled with liquid chocolate, watermelon ice cream in strawberry soup. Everything went so well together.

Then came more chocolate mousse balls, with different flavors of sugary hardness on top.

There was also chocolate syrup with orange ice sorbet.
And there was a peach and flower deal with a vodka tonic syrup poured on top. Although this one sounded the most exotic, and looked impressive in person, it was our least favorite.

Then came the "on the house" assortment of tiny desserts, including pineapple gel, and variations of more chocolate, including a red cabbage and chocolate combo. All very tasty.

We had a great bottle Savignon Blanc, and could barely walk out of the place after all the courses. I'm not sure if it was the very best meal I had in Spain, but it was definitely the most interesting and memorable. And never before had I used so much silverware in one night, maybe even a week. When we got the bill, I knew we were also paying for all the soap and water used to wash all that silverware. For someone to load the dishwater, empty it, sort out the knives, forks, spoons, long spoons, and place them in containers to be used five minutes later. Anyhow, it was all worth it.

When we got to our car, we ended the evening with two tropical flavored TUMS each, and a quick TUMS flavored kiss, before saying to each other, "Well, there goes all our money honey!"


  1. I don't understand how you ate all that stuff?? I mean mouth + stomach = not that much space.