|With Chef Aitor on the Nerua terrace.|
Didn’t expect to be getting a tour of the kitchen when I made an electronic booking for Bilbao’s Michelin starred restaurant Nerua earlier in the week but that’s exactly what happened within minutes of our arrival for lunch on Wednesday.
We were handed over to Chef Aitor who showed us their three work sections: Pastry, Meat/Fish, and one whole section for vegetables (which they regard as very important and source locally). We had a few nibbles before Aitor took us up to their exclusive terrace overlooking the Guggenheim in which the restaurant is located.
He explained how the “Guggen” has transformed the city, especially around here where it had been run down and ugly. Before it was an industrial city, now it is a tourist city, he explained. Could do with something transformative like this in Cork.
An Amuse Bouche that contained a little egg yolk, thin crisps and oil, was first up. CL’s starter was Baked White Onion, cod fish and pimiento verde (12). I had chosen the Anchovies, Bilbao style, with grilled onions (15). We were off and running, a very promising start.
|Turbot, turnip, rosemary|
|Potato, apple and lime|
That pork was a highlight and then another came quickly in the shape of my dessert: Ashes of black olives, aromatic herbs and soft ice cream (12). A very unusual feel on the palate, quickly lifted by the liquorice in the herbs. The other dessert was a Millefeuillie of potato, apple and lime (11), also excellent.
There is quite an extensive wine list, with a strong local element, many at very reasonable prices. Our pick was a Rías Baixas Nora 2011 Albarino (26); we enjoyed it very much and lingered with it for a while after we had finished off the main meal and the little surprise that followed: a warmed chocolate boule with a cold centre and we were happy to oblige with the order to eat it with one bite!
You may see the full menu here . The prices do not include vat of 8%. Total bill, including a bottle of water and the wine, came to €150.66.
|Black Olive Ashes...|