Bacalao a la plancha sobre dino pure de guisante
Sabin Arana
Country: Spain
City: 48992 Getxo (Vizcaya)
Address: Avenida de los Chopos, 24 (esq. Leioako)
(+34) 944912031
Closed: Domingo noche, lunes, martes noche, Semana Santa y las tres primeras semanas de agosto
Price: 75/110 €
Tasting menu:: 50 y 68 €

Sabin Arana has become fully convinced that he must follow the path laid out for decades by the house—it has given him a considerable reputation and a sizeable client base. Thus, he gets credit for style and menu, which still places a bit more importance on classicism. A cuisine that is clearly and eminently conventional, one of the most accomplished of its kind in Spain. Certain characteristics stand out, the first of which is the elegance and harmony that distinguish its flavors and combinations. The second is the excellence of the ingredients used—be they simple or opulent, they are always superior. And a third virtue that needs mention is that cooking temperature points generally fit into those of modern haute cuisine. It all adds up to a refined, up to date restaurant with traditional tastes. Today, as yesterday, we can enjoy an ethereal Béarnaise butter as a welcoming starter, or the finest talo (a Basque corn tortilla) served with pieces of chistorra (sausage); these are the perennial and irreplaceable aperitifs. There is also a new, impeccable sweet rice dish, with crawfishes of uncommon quality and a rice-thickened broth that recalls the tomato-based sauce that typically accompanied them. Let us continue with another source of glory for the establishment: the pochas (baby white beans) with Morrón pepper (paprika) and vegetable broth, some of the best around. We then needed to relive an unforgettable memory—the roast lobster with fragrances of tarragon and pepper, over an American sauce, was, if possible, more wonderful than ever. And another sensible, flawless addition to the menu is the filet of cod, impossibly delicious and juicy with an extremely delicate puree of peas and a few mushrooms, in this case sliced and wild. And when there is game, it constitutes a very welcome obligation: the turtledove is truly majestic, for the raw material and its bloodiness; accompanied by mushrooms, raisins, pine nuts, zucchini, bacon, etc. Other small trips to paradise at Jolastoki: the unbeatable Biscayan escargots; the generous rice with mushrooms, langoustines and Idiazabal cheese; the iridescent fried hake, embellished with a golden veil and served with bell peppers; and the stately woodcock, among a few other specialties, showing that rigor and constancy have great merit.