Eat: Bistró at the Guggenheim Bilbao

Sunday, April 22, 2012

This is Part 6 to my Destination: San Sebastian series. Other posts in this series includes: Eat: Pintxos 101Eat: A Fuego Negro,  Michelin Star: Arzak, and See: Guggenheim Museum.

During my day trip to Bilbao, I was very happy to eat at Bistró. There are two restaurants at the Guggenheim, Nerua, which is a 1 Michelin star restaurant run by Josean Martínez Alija, and Bistró, which is the less formal sister restaurant located right next to it. Originally we made a reservation at Nerua, but since we didn't want to have such a huge meal, we decided to just have a shorter meal at Bistró instead. Boy, am I glad we picked Bistro because it was definitely one of the more memorable meals during this trip to Europe.



Just like any other Basque restaurant, you're greeted at the entrance with pintxos served on the counters at the front. The decor at Bistro matches the modern Guggenheim. The Bistro serves a pre-fixe menu for lunch. We chose to have the 25,20€ three course meal which came with a bottle of wine. This was a welcomed surprise, but since Steezy and I couldn't finish the bottle by ourselves, we were allowed to take it home with us! You can also try the 5 course tasting menu for 32,00€, or the express meal which comes with only a main course and dessert for 18,00€.


Each of the courses that we had was divine - beginning with the starters. Bonito and Salmon Tartar, marinated in soy sauce and served with a green lemon cream, and Spring Onion, glazed in their juices, thyme and Idiazabal cheese mousse. The servings for these two appetizers were pretty huge, I loved the brightness that the lemon cream brought to the salmon tartare, something I've never had paired together before. And as simple as the onion looks in the photo, it tasted like the best onion I've ever had.



Then we had our main courses - Piece of Roast Pork, (40 hours at 70°C) with quinoa, rosemary and red garlic puree, and Roasted Lamb, butternut pumpkin puree and a touch of coffee. The piece of pork was perfectly cooked and the garlic puree helped add a new level of flavor to the whole dish. The roasted lamb looked like a block, but it was so fun to eat since the meat was so tender. The coffee reduction helped bring some extra bitterness to balance out the sweetness of the pumpkin puree. 



Finally we had the desserts which helped blow this meal out of the water. We had the French Toast, soaked in yolk and cream, caramelized in a frying pan with coffee ice cream, and Apple Juice, coconut ice cream and lime gnocchi. The french toast had a texture unlike any french toast I've ever had before and was the clear winner out of the two desserts. To this day, I'm still thinking about how fun it was to eat the dessert since the bread seemed to hold together like string cheese that you had to pull apart. The lime gnocchi was very unique and if you like tart desserts, it'd definitely be a great way to end your meal.



By this time, my belly was full and happy and when the bill came, our wallets were happy too. For this amazing meal, it came out to 54,44€ which is roughly $72! I don't even think I could get a decent two course meal in Manhattan for that price, let alone having the meal come with an entire bottle of wine.  We had a nice finish to the meal with these tasty chocolates. 



If you ever visit Guggenheim Bilbao, I urge you to come to Bistro for your meal. You will not be disappointed!! For more information, visit restaurants at Guggenheim Bilbao.

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