On our last day in San Sebastian, we had to transfer to another hotel as the Villa Soro was fully booked for the weekend. We checked out after breakfast and headed to the Siken Amara, a modern 4-star hotel in downtown San Sebastian. The city was filling up due to the Rolling Stones show that evening and even in our hotel, there were lots of concert crew wandering around.
It was a cloudy day so we went for a short walk to the city center near the cathedral and then had a simple lunch at the Bar Amazonas (1 Plaza de Bilbao, Tel: +34 1 Plaza de Bilbao, +943 428 760) on this quiet residential square where a large fountain blocks the traffic noise.
After lunch, we decided to go to Monte Igeldo and see the city from up above. We continued on to the top of the mountain and enjoyed the fantastic panorama of the city with Ondarreta beach right below and Monte Urgull in the distance. From this height, there is also a clear view of the Isla Sta. Clara, the small island in the middle of La Concha bay. The rest of the afternoon was spent packing and getting ready for our flight the next morning.
Our last dinner reservation was at another Martin Berasategui-managed taverna, Bodegon Alejandro – a small underground restaurant with simple wooden tables and chairs and lots of black and white photos of weightlifters lining the walls.
The menus were covered in the traditional Basque linen with red stripes and showed a 6-course tasting menu at 34 euros (+V.A.T.), a few snack items and a very reasonable 3-course prix-fixe at 31.90 euros (+V.A.T.) which we opted for.
We were given an amuse bouche of a shot glass filled with a watermelon and tomato gazpacho then A had the spider crab ravioli with wild mushroom cream and I had creamy rice with baby squid and Idiazabal cheese. As always, the chipirones were cooked perfectly and the accompanying rice tasted of the sea. A basket of freshly-baked farmhouse bread was left on the table. The menu indicated that it was what we should use to sop up whatever sauce we had left on our plates. Lamb roasted at 70°C over fresh mushroom pappardelle and sauteed lamb sweetbreads came next for me while A had the stewed and glazed veal cheek on a potato and bacon terrine with warm pepper jus. My lamb was very soft and tasted smoked, the crispy sweetbreads a perfect foil to the extra-soft lamb. A‘s veal cheek was so tender and the sprinkling of sea salt on the top helped bring out the flavor of the meat.
Dessert was chocolate souffle with banana ice cream for me and fresh strawberries with whipped Mascarpone cream, biscuit crumbs and the ubiquitous hint of liquorice for him. His main course and dessert were very similar to what we had at the Guggenheim museum restaurant a few days before. Not surprising since both are managed by Martin Berasategui. Espressos came soon after and were served with some almond madeleines and a shot of rice-pudding liqueur. We strolled slowly to the our car enjoying our last evening paseo in this quaint seaside town. San Sebastian lived up to its’ reputation as the gastronomic city of the Basque country and of Spain.