Mugaritz

Food Chronicles

A true destination dining experience

 

The history of Michelin rated restaurants was to encourage food enthusiasts to travel beyond the city to dining destinations. The star count of one, two, or three quantifies the worthiness of the journey.

 

Mugaritz

Mugaritz in the outer parts of San Sebastian, Spain is a true destination dining experience more than worth the plane flight and drive into the countryside.

Opened in 1998, the restaurant is now a revolutionary classic.

The name Mugaritz refers to the property’s 200-year-old old tree – it is the “frontier oak”. The restaurant is a Basque farmhouse which was built and designed to respect the surroundings.

 

Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz

Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz has more than proven himself to be the natural heir of the title of Spain’s most pioneering chef after Ferran Adriá. His creativity, innovation, and versatility excel as he emphasizes local produce. His cooking has been labeled “Techno-emotional Spanish cuisine”.

Andoni’s philosophy focuses on eating as a path to a multi-sensory experience with the use of story-telling, history, aromas, textures, flavors, games, memories, desires, and other such emotions.

 

The Dining Experience

Service also plays a role in the experience. The hospitality is phenomenal and oozes with Spanish charm. It is a fine dining setting with no stiffness or snobbery, and everyone feels like a VIP.

Come hungry and eager for the 24-course tasting menu. With it, you will have a choice of whether you want to keep the menu closed and be surprised for every course or to read the descriptions of each course and anticipate its arrival based on the title and description.

The meal is not just about the amazing food. It is interactive theater as there is a sense of play which is unpredictable, thrilling, mystifying, and entertaining.

IMG_4924
The Mugaritz herb garden. The garden greets guests as they walk from the parking lot to the entrance. Chefs come out to the garden throughout the day to cut herbs for the day’s menu
IMG_4925
The dining room. Minimalist and no frills. It’s all about the food and the dining experience
IMG_4928
Fried herbs from the garden with clashing aromas. Fried chive with its flowers. So simple, yet the detail of intricately frying the little flowers is so complex. An explosion of flavors and textures
IMG_4933
Smoked toast, 100% lobster. Everything, except the rock, is 100% lobster
IMG_4936
Grilled toast on bone marrow with herbs and horseradish ash
IMG_4937
Edible stones on “dirt”…
IMG_4940
Baked potatoes! As heavy as a stone, but it won’t crack your teeth
IMG_4945
Time to take a break from the table and take a tour of the kitchen. Behind the scenes access to meet the chefs and learn more about the Mugaritz process
IMG_4947
Morcilla foie gras macaron. A fantastic, fascinating treat in the kitchen
Head waiter's selfie on my phone
Along with the tour, you can also take photos with the chefs. Here’s Joserra, our funny and charming maître de’s selfie on my phone before taking our photo
IMG_4955
Cold peach and razor clams. Refreshingly cold with razor clams so fresh it is like you are eating them straight from the fisherman on the boat
IMG_4956
“Bloody Mary” tomato. I love bloody marys. I love heirloom tomatoes. Naturally, I loved this
IMG_4959
Poultry Royale, a game of Astragals Royale. Time to play a game with your table. Winner gets caviar!
IMG_4964
Grilled squid with onion. Perfectly cooked squid with sheets of squid ink
IMG_4966
Red mullet in a butter of its own liver with an almond and bread crusting
IMG_4969
Sweetbread of suckling lamb with seasonal mushrooms. Topped with garlic flowers. Flavored with Chinese inspiration. The garlic flowers have an incredible potency and freshness
IMG_4973
Sheets of “entrecula”. Grilled steak emulsion and salt crystals
IMG_4976
Preparing our first dessert. “Baking” the cake and brushing off the hot ashes from the grill
IMG_4985
The cake with iced rye cream and aged toffee
IMG_4987
Moving from the dining room to the outdoor area to have a change of scenery for the rest of our dessert courses
IMG_4992
Frozen almond turron. I love all three words individually. Put together, and it is even better
IMG_4998
Mocha in its lightest version, as light and crisp wafers
Presenting my mom's bday cake
During the meal, Joserra discovered we had a birthday celebrant. He came out with a treat from the kitchen – they baked a cake!
Which the staff also enjoyed
But, they enjoyed it as well (or so he said for a funny story). The remnants of the cake!
IMG_5005
The grande finale: The 7 Deadly Sins
IMG_5007
Envy in the form of chocolate coins
IMG_5011
Gluttony in the form of hazelnuts covered in chocolate truffle – and a lot of them
IMG_5012
Greed in the form of nothing!

 

Click here for TripAdvisor reviews and photos of Mugaritz

Mugaritz
Aldura Aldea, 20
Errenteria
Gipuzkoa
Spain
+34-943-522-455

 


Sign up to my newsletter on the sidebar for blog updates and my travel insider tips!