The Germans are Coming!

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  •  Extebarri

The annual Restaurant Magazine's 50 Best Restaurants in the World is a daft idea, and one in which we have played a part in previous years.
Like all daft ideas, certain truths emerge from the voting process, none more so than this year.
So, who's hot? Well, Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz, who moves up to 4th place in the list, for one. We make no secret of our admiration for this chef, who is a genuinely poetic, sublime cook.
But, almost as interesting is the emergence of another great northern Spanish chef whose cooking we enjoyed a few years back. Victor Arguinzoniz of Extebarri cooks everything over open flames, what he calls “primitive cooking”. His restaurant is also abidingly simple, as you can see above, making for a truly echt experience, which is well worth the haul from San Sebastian.
The other exciting news from the Restaurant list is: The Germans are coming! Joachim Wissler of Vendome, Hans Haas of Tantris and Harald Wohlfahrt of Die Schwartzwahlstube all make the list, and this promising culinary culture seems to be coming alive at last.

For the (extensive) record, here is what we ate at Extebarri:

Slices of cured pork
Egg yolk with fresh garlic
Gambas with sliced artichoke and grilled seaweed
Perdena with tomato and olive oil
piquillo stuffed with morcillo and fagioli bean soup
Tuna with asparagus and green beans
Bacalao alla bacca
Grilled beef
Toasted cocoa and vanilla ice cream
Coffee and almond cake

Our notes are peppered with exclamatory Mamma Mias! after many of the dishes.