Restaurant: Bar Borda Berri
Location: Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 12, 20003 Donostia, Bizkaia, Spain
Date: June 23, 2016
Cuisine: Modern Tapas
Rating: Awesome New Wave Tapas
Borda Berri was one of the many tapas bars recommended by my foodie friends.
It’s located on a typical San Sebastian old town street.
The interior is tiny, with no seating. Outside there is a small table or two. While many pintxos bars have the food out on the counter waiting to be selected, Borda Berri makes you thrust in and order food in the same manner as you order drinks (and to the same people). They cook and plate back in the kitchen and call out when each dish is ready. I then dutifully returned to the bar to ferry them to our microscopic table.
The menu in Spanish and English.
At most there were two tables in the alley. Standing room only.
Gazpacho with watermelon, basilic and mozzarella. This was a stupendously delicious gazpacho. It’s hard to imagine it didn’t have tomato in it also, but there was a strong watermelon and basil flavor, along with the rich olive oil and the snappy vinegar. I so love good gazpacho. Too bad it gives me heartburn.
Toasted goat cheese salad. A lovely salad with a bit of sweetness on the cheese.
Bomba rice with wild mushroom. This was a nice mushroom rice, with that more paella-like texture. Probably one of the more boring dishes we had, but that’s not really fair in this company.
Cod Tripes and Pil-Pil sauce. Sounds gross right? Well the texture was solidly gelatinous, and probably not for everyone, but boy did it taste good. I ate almost two plates of it. Very rich.
Puntalette’s risotto with Idiazabal (Basque Sheeps Cheese). Wow, fabulous cheesy risotto. Everything you would want in a cheesy mass of rice.
Ravioli squid in its ink. Very tender, with briny sweet flavors. Yum!
Euskal Pork Ribs “Kebab.” This “Kebab” turned out to be basically a amazingly tender and flavorful BBQ babyback rib with a bit of sauce. Fabulous.
Borda Berri cooked up some really fabulous flavors. Additionally, freed from the confines of the pintxos format they serve fresher hot dishes in more of a small plates format. This is a little different, and perhaps a bit harder to just graze, but it provides for a more restaurant-like cuisine, even if the format is extremely bar-like.
Almost everything we had here was great, and fairly novel too. Just looking at these pictures makes me drool over the gazpacho, risotto, and lamb — and I could even mack down another plate of the cod tripes.