Eat: A Fuego Negro in San SebastianSunday, February 19, 2012
This is Part 3 to my Destination: San Sebastian series. Other posts in this series includes: Eat: Pintxos 101, Michelin Star: Arzak, See: Guggenheim Museum, and Eat: Bistro at the Guggenheim.
A Fuego Negro is a true gem in the San Sebastian pintxo scene. They put a modern twist to traditional Basque pinxtos, and when I'm thinking of pintxos in San Sebastian, I am dreaming of their amazing pintxos. When you first walk in, you'll notice the dark decor highlighted with red accents all over. The overall trendy ambiance feels more like it belongs in Manhattan than in the rows of traditional pintxos bar all around Old Town.
As I mentioned in Pintxos 101, we ended up going back to A Fuego Negro three times out of the four times we went out for pintxos.
One of the best pintxos that was served on the counter was their spin on a Jamon pintxo with Goat Cheese. In addition to the jamon, the bread was pinned with sun-dried tomato, caramelized goat cheese. The sweetness and the crunch of the sugar that's crusted on top of the cheese coupled with the savory iberian ham was heaven on a baguette. Throw in the complex flavor of the sun-dried tomatoes and you have yourself a winner.
Another popular traditional pintxo is olives, pepper, and anchovy. Since I'm not an olive fan, I found this okay, however I bet this is great with a martini. In addition, they also serve jamon bagettes, but the jamon with goat cheese is just way too appealing, so I definitely had at least 4-5 of these pintxos through my days at San Sebastian.
In addition to the few cold pintxos on the counter, A Fuego Negro makes a huge array of made to order pintxos. These made to order pintxos is where you'll start seeing more of the modern twist - each of these showing different techniques of molecular gastronomy.
The type of made to order pintxos that spoke out to me the most were the different Vasos: three layers of ingredients meant to eaten by dipping your spoon to the bottom and scooping each layer up presented in a glass shot glass.
On the left, we have Lumagorri pate, soupfoam and corn on top. On the right is tomato puree, mussels and bechamel. Both were delicious and the perfect size to taste and enjoy.
Kositas (Little Thing) and Txupitos (Shots)
Next, we have kositas. Of these, we had the "Coaled" cod with pepper pips, a Kebab and a mimi kobe burger with ketchup bread and banana chips. In the picture below, we also have a garlic risotto with herbs and shades, and mushrooms, ham and "egg". As you will notice, all of these little things were more delicate than the traditional pintxos at other joints.
Of all of these, we enjoyed the mushroom, ham and "egg" dish the most. There was an egg exterior which was crafted to hold the yolk inside. It was so unique to crack open to see the yolk coming out to be slopped up.
We also were able to try a Txupitos, or shot of Ajoblanco garlics with tuna and apple. These were a garlic soup, shaped to look like a piece of garlic. When you bite into the garlic, you will find the liquid interior. It was definitely interesting and worth trying.
Pikoteos (Snacks) and Kit de Pikoteos (Snack Kits)
As much as I wanted to try a few things from this category, the portions were just too big and didn't want to get too stuffed. However, I got to sneak a few pictures for you guys from others who ordered it.
Going from top to bottom, we have the Iberian ham (shoulder blade), the foie snack!, which came in a can for the snacks. Note: I've had unfavorable reviews for the Foie Snack! from 2 different people, so I'd avoid it unless you really wanted to try it.
For the snack kits, we have tuna, green peppers and red onion along with anchovies, garlic and grilled tomatoes.
One day when you have a chance to visit San Sebastian, you definitely have to make a stop at A Fuego Negro to try their modern twist on pintxos. I definitely can't wait until the next time I get to go back to enjoy these little snacks.
Also, there's another modern pintxos bar that I did not get to try, Bar Zeruko. When I tried to make a stop there, they were under construction but from all the pictures from blogs, that is a must try on my list now.
Thanks for reading, and look out for my review for Arzak, the first three michelin star restaurant in San Sebastian.
A Fuego Negro
Calle Fermin Calbeton, 40
20003 Donostia-San Sebastian
943 430 579