Sunday, July 8, 2007

San Sebastian - Tapas, Tapas, and More Tapas!

From the moment we stepped into San Sebastian, we fell in love with it. The city is situated in northern Spain near the border of France and overlooks Bay of Biscayne. Our immediate reaction was to regret that we are only spending one day in this lovely place. For lunch, we strolled down to Old Town, where tapas bars and restaurants line the streets. We sampled a number of tapas bars and tried everything from mussels to calamari to things that we weren’t too sure what they were. I love tapas because they are a great way to sample so many different things. Our favorite tapas bar was definitely the Goiz Bargi, where they have this grilled shrimp skewer that was just scrumptious!

After we were already nearly full on tapas, we passed by this restaurant called Irutxulo that showed a picture of fresh uni (sea urchin) on its menu and I knew I must try it! I was very curious to see how the Spanish would prepare uni. The uni was mixed with some crab and then it was steamed and lightly flavored. The presentation was beautiful – they were served in three shells garnished with some salmon roe on top. The dish was interesting, but I would still prefer raw uni typically served in Japanese restaurants. I was happy that I was even able to get uni here though! We also ordered a number of other dishes since their seafood looked so fresh (since we were only in San Sebastian one day, we needed to squeeze in multiple meals). We had some grilled shrimps, which were very good and cooked to perfection. We also ordered some fish, which was lightly battered and served with a tartar sauce on the side. It was good but nothing too special. The kitchen also surprised us by giving us a dish of baked scallop with vermicelli, which was very nice of them. Irutxulo also made a very nice sangria – a bit on the sweet side but very fruity and delicious.

After lunch, we walked around Old Town a bit more and enjoyed some gelato. We also decided to do the touristy thing and took a ride in one of the mini-trains that toured around town. It was a good way to see the entire coastline when you are too lazy to walk. :-) We wanted to have dinner at La Perla Restaurant because it was supposed to be good but it wasn’t open for dinner until 9 pm! (I guess it’s not that unusual in Spain for restaurants to open so late…) Unfortunately we couldn’t stay that late so we ended up just grabbing some sandwiches at the La Perla Café, which was on the terrace and had a nice view of the ocean. We can’t wait to come back to San Sebastian again!


Chi-Mei said...

I think it's really funny that you always find a way to justify the multiple meals! :)

Chi-Mei said...

Thanks again for introducing me to San Sebastian!!! If it weren't for your recommendation I would never have considered going and would have totally missed out. I'm re-reading your European posts and really enjoy all the food talk. It just sounded like a super delicious trip. I wish I had commented more often in 2007...maybe I was working too much still? Anyhoo, great job in being so diligent in your postings. A very belated great job! :)

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