A bottle of Jacques Selosse Initial had been sitting in my fridge for too long and earlier this week we decided to pop it together with some foie gras. The champagne was amazing. Unlike any champagne I’ve ever tried before. Too bad the Selosse’s aren’t the most reasonably priced bubbles. But who cares when it’s excellent. Richard Juhlin writes about it in one of his champagne guides and it seems he too is in love with the wine. Both he and other’s talks about Anselme, the genius proprietor, and his training in Burgundy which makes the wine almost a Burgundy with bubbles. And man does that work! Next bottle I’m aiming for an older vintage, they’re suppose to excel.
In what’s been called the culinary capital of Europe there’s more than just fine dining. San Sebastian, or Donostia as the Basques call it, is packed with pintxos bars. Pintxos is basically the Basque equivalent of tapas. The old town is packed with bars, the bars are packed with people and the people.
That clear cut border between bar and street and the next bar that’s quite obvious in Stockholm for example doesn’t seem to exist in the old town of Donostia. All the bars seem to melt together and everyone is stuffing their faces with everything from foie gras to baby spare ribs. Add some Txakoli, a local dry white wine, and you’re home.
My favourite tip is a place called La Cuchara de San Telmo, the Spoon of San Telmo. Very crowded, as all the other bars, but the pintxos are awesome. We tried the sweetbread croqueta, an amazing cod and spare ribs to die for. We missed the foie gras but hey, the people at Mugaritz informed us that it’s not in season now anyways so I guess we have to return. Soon.