Everyday we consume foods, sometimes out of necessity, often by routine but there are few culinary experiences like this!
I am not exaggerating when I say Extebarri is one of those exceptional culinarian experiences you’ll every try. What defines a great meal; no table fluff, plate decorations, foam, dots or silly and unnecessary additions.
The journey begins with a one hour drive from San Sebastián to Atxondo, pronounced ‘ex-chondo” a small Basque place nestled at the foot of the Urkiola Natural Park covering the highest part of the Aramotz mountain range. These mountains also separate the Cantabrian Atlantic basin from the Mediterranean basin: https://www.google.com/travel/things-to-do/see-all?g2lb=2502548%2C2503771%2C2503781%2C4258168%2C4270442%2C4284970%2C4291517%2C4306835%2C4597339%2C4718358%2C4723331%2C4731329%2C4754388%2C4757164%2C4778035%2C4814050%2C4816977%2C4821090%2C4845678%2C4852066%2C4859602%2C4861687%2C4875646%2C4875647%2C4878644%2C4879519%2C4880074%2C4880166&hl=en-ES&gl=es&ssta=1&dest_mid=%2Fm%2F0gh7x1y&dest_state_type=sattd&dest_src=ts&q&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwji7d3ayO76AhUW5hoKHTYgA4wQ69EBKAF6BAhREAk
The team in the kitchen are not rushing around yet move gracefully preparing dishes. Etxebarri chef Bittor Arginzoniz barely leaves his grill and doesn’t seem bothered by what goes on upstairs at Etxebarri because his staff are focused on taking care of clients. While Bittor is always focused on his work, stoking the fire, spraying and raising his custom Josper (4-metre) grill up and down away from the flames. In the grilling kitchen (13-sqm) there is Bittor’s grill, a centre counter and two wooden furnaces for food while burning logs.
A place away from home there you’ll find the most exquisite cuisine – non pretentious, single minded, pure and to the point without any fuss. The chorizo is special, the goat milk butter you can eat by picking it up directly into your mouth. The small shrimps are like eating popcorn and the Lobster is sublime.
The truffles with red pimentos and egg is a nice surprise but the dish which is so simple yet so sophisticated is the Boletus and eggplant – it is a genius combination and the mushrooms are perfect quality.
The final dish was the goat – the skin has the flavour and the meat is succulent – and when my wife who rarely eats meat gives it a thumbs up – it should not be missed in in season, or the steak, one of the few restaurants using Pays Basque meat.
Thank you to Etxebarri for the wonderful 7-hours we spent with you on this special occasion and for all your love ~_* …. see you next trip.