Location: Araneder Bidea, Barrio Iturriotz, s/n, 20180 Oiartzun, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Date: June 18, 2016
Rating: Really tasty and effective (1 Michelin star)
We rented a lovely house outside of San Sebastian in the Basque Country town of Oiartzun — and turns out, it has a 1 Michelin star restaurant of its own, a mere 200 yards from the house.
Zuberoa is located in a charming 600 year old building! The same family has owned it for several hundred years and it was originally a tavern.
And they also have this lovely patio, which was packed on Saturday night and a smoker’s paradise.
2006 Pazo de Señoráns Albariño Rías Baixas Selección de Añada. VM 93. Aged for 34 months on its lees in stainless steel tanks. Vivid yellow-gold. Highly complex bouquet of candied citrus fruits, almond paste, white flowers, smoky lees and minerals. Bitter orange pith and pear skin flavors gain sweetness with air and pick up an exotic floral nuance. Rich yet lively wine with superb finishing power and mineral-driven persistence. This singular wine is ready to drink and should hold well for at least another five years.
Confited cod fish chin, brandad and “Vizcaina” sauce. This part of the cod fish is super special and a specialty of the area. It has a particular gelatinous texture that is very prized. My extensive Chinese dining has prepared me for such culinary travels.
Roasted anglerfish and stir friend squid tallarine. Very nice piece of meaty fish. We googled the anglerfish and had quite the laugh at his hideous countenance.
1981 C.V.N.E. (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) Rioja Viña Real Gran Reserva. JG 96. This was certainly a great older Rioja. No decant but allowed it to evolve over hours. Garnet color consistent with previous, very little fading. There is an earthiness and attractive mustiness on the nose with surprisingly bright raspberry and strawberry. Palate brings light cherry and raspberry, warm spring earth, and pleasing umami flavors. Still enough of a tannic backbone to lend sufficient structure to the melange. This bottle would have still had many years of life ahead of it. If only every bottle performed this well.
Overall, Zuberoa was really quite lovely. The food was varied, very Basque in style, and supremely tasty. While still modern in style it was a little less “wild” than the 2 and 3 star places we dined at, but in many ways this made it more approachable. Service was fabulous and they easily accommodated our varied party and even our young son. Plus it was quite reasonable by the standards of such an elaborate and fantastic meal.