San Sebastian – gastronomic hotspot and glamorous international destination – it is no wonder the movie stars keep coming back. San Sebastian is stunningly beautiful…and that is barely scratching the surface.
I lucked out completely. I unknowingly stumbled into San Sebastian during restaurant week (October 15-28, 2012). The premise: a showcase of seasonal produce and fine dining with a set price menu. One week really wasn’t enough as I slowly ate my way through the restaurants and their menus, devouring every flavour and revelling in the freshness. Menus were set at 25€ plus 10% VAT and included three courses, bread and a bottle of wine.
Introducing La Muralla – fine dining in the heart of San Sebastian.
The meal started with a simple yet tasty amuse bouche. The chef selected a lovely vegetable soup puree presented in a shot glass. With the warm flavours melting in my mouth, I knew I was in for a treat. With my little San Sebastian Restaurant Week guide book at hand, I was ready to dive in!
The Starter - Seafood salad with avocado emulsion and fresh tomato vinaigrette
Personally, I though this dish was a work of art. The flavours were light and fresh. Even though it was already late October, this dish made me think of spring on the patio – I imagine a nicely paired glass of white wine would have made it perfect. You could see the love of the craft in the presentation with the avocado emulsion beautifully decorating the plate and mingling with the flavours. First course in and I was already complementing the chef!
Followed by: Oyster and Porcini Mushroom Ravioli with Foie Gras Cream
Another work of art arrived after the seafood salad starter….the earthy porcini mushrooms mingled perfectly with the rich foie gras cream. It was as good as it looked with the delicate flavours oozing out of the hand made ravioli – one was definitely not enough.
Main Course – Confit of Iberian Pork Cheeks with vegetable ratatouille and light potato puree
Iberian pork is virtually synonymous with Spanish cuisine. Having never tried cheek of any kind before, I was not sure what to expect, but knew I would have to give it a try. Given the dishes that had come before, I should have expected nothing less than a succulent dish, and that is exactly what I got. While there was very little ratatouille, the flavours on the plate danced on my tastebuds, bursting with porky goodness. I had not expected such a tender cut. It was perfectly complimented by the creamy potato puree with a light gravy.
Dessert – Chocolate Sponge Cake with Tangerine Orange Sorbet
Temptation wrapped in chocolate! Chocoholics beware – this dessert is a decadent treat. As if on cue, as my spoon cut into the outer chocolate cake shell, the hot, molten chocolate lava oozed out onto the plate. It was a perfect finish to my meal. The tangy sweetness of the tangerine orange sorbet cut through the richness of the chocolate.
A girl can get used to this – every dish was amazing. (I wasn’t alone in this thought – TripAdvisor rated La Muralla 14th out of 355 restaurants in San Sebastian). Given that the total price included a bottle of wine (I enjoyed a lovely bottle from the Rioja region) – the value for money was beyond expectation. Not sure how I lucked into a week in San Sebastian during restaurant week, but I certainly made the most of it!
Traveling to San Sebastian? While restaurant week may be over, La Muralla’s menu is sure to please. They can be found on Calle de Embeltran, one street back from the main pedestrian boulevard. For reservations, call 943 433 508
More restaurant reviews from San Sebastian’s Restaurant Week: