Zuberoa (San Sebastian, Spain) – Lost on Me

Zuberoa was our first meal in tempermental San Sebastian (it quite reminds me of San Francisco.) The house, which is over 600 years old, is quite regal in a Spanish way; the outside seating, despite the chilliness of this particular evening, is refreshing. We created our own tasting menu by sharing 3 appetizers and 4 mains (which might have been half portions but i can’t remember.)

The restaurant is billed as traditional Basque cuisine done right. Considering our Spanish itinerary, we thought it would be a welcome respite from the experimental cuisine of the other restaurants sandwiched around the Zuberoa visit.

Unfortunately, the meal was not very inspiring which, apparently, leads to a deterioration in note-taking (drown yourself in your sorrows?) I’ve forgotten many of the details.

1. Foie Gras & Truffle in Wine Sauce
The foie was very sweet but balanced by the acidity of the sauce. Good.

2. Mushrooms of Season w/ Slow Cooked Egg & Fava Beans
Impeccable egg, mushrooms of good (but not as good as Ganbara in old town) quality, fava beans & peas good. Good.

3. Lobster Ravioli w/ Truffles
Norway lobster that was slightly overcooked but it had potential. Good.

4. Foie Gras Risotto w/ Truffles
The risotto was cooked correctly with a decent amount of liquid left; similar to my recent Olivetto ‘perfect’ risotto and L’Arpege’s risotto. You could taste each grain of rice. Obviously, it was rich. Very Good.

5. Hake w/ Green Pea Sauce & Clams
Nicely cooked, a good quality fish (probably caught nearby), but the sauce was very bland. In fact, the sauce was so bland, I couldn’t discern it was pea. Good.

6. Roast Pigeon w/ Truffle Cabbage
Slightly overcooked, plain, a slightly gamey taste (that’s a compliment.) Good.

7. Calf’s Jaw
Bland taste, challenging gelatinous, and very stringy. I could easily do without. Not Good.

8. Roast Suckling Pig
The skin was crisp w/ hints of orange. The meat was tasty but there was too much fat and it made the texture a little challenging (especially in conjunction w/ the calf’s jaw.) Good.

9. Yogurt & Cheese Ice Cream w/ Pumpkin Cream
The ice cream was very creamy and followed with a quick tanginess. Very Good.

I got far more enjoyment from the various pinxtos bars in the Old City of San Sebastian. This food was on a similar level but far more expensive. I definitely don’t feel any need to return.

- chuck