Sunday, August 1, 2010

This is it.

There was just so much deliciousness in San Sebastian every night we were finding new and exciting places to eat. But there was one bar that we found time and stomach space to return to every night. La Cuchara de San Telmo is a hard to find hole-in-the-wall, packed from the minute it opens till they push the crowd out the door.

San Sebastian

Two chefs Alex Montiel and IƱaki Gulin are rock stars pumping out imaginative nueva cocina vasca (new basque cuisine) from a tiny open kitchen in the thick of all the action.

the chefs preferred these guys to be the rock stars for photos
San Sebastian

The menu is a short, updated daily, with a dozen dishes all cooked to order rather than pre plated and stacked across the bar traditional style. Over the course of our San Sebastian stay we ate our way through the menu several times, just to certain it was as amazing as our taste buds were telling us. The first night we left telling them we'd see them tomorrow only to return a few hours later when we ran into the owners of Australia on a plate and had to show them this hidden gem.

These are the dishes we ate in no particular order;

Slab o goats cheese grilled with basil and quince.

San Sebastian

Canniloni filled with intense mushroom.

San Sebastian

Creamy cheesy orzo risotto.

San Sebastian

Foie with apple puree. This was incredible, the unctuous foie, sweet sour apple and crunchy salt topping. I lost count of how many of these we ate. Peta's gonna hate us.

San Sebastian

Crispy little croquette of jamon. The topping reminded me of a yum cha pork pie.

San Sebastian

Totally awesome roast suckling pork ribs. The flesh was just fall apart while the skin was deliciously crunchy crackling sitting in a little more of the sweet sour apple puree.

San Sebastian

The braised beef cheek was falll apart tender and on the three nights we had this it came with a different accompinament.

1)With a creamy potato puree and a splash of jus.

San Sebastian

2)On a rich roast tomato sauce

San Sebastian

3) With meaty braised green lentils

San Sebastian

Bacon wrapped scallops with cauliflower is a classic combination.

San Sebastian

Tempura de bacalao, chunks of salt cod fried in a super crispy batter. Even Kat who's not a big fan of cooked fish enjoyed this.

San Sebastian

Fat slices of grilled octopus tender as could be.

San Sebastian

Braised pork with a rich molassasy and sesame glaze was amazing.

San Sebastian

Braised pigs ear, so good the fatty meat melting off the crunchy gristle all covered with a thin layer of crispy skin. All about textures.

San Sebastian

A love for all things piggy is just one of the reasons we love La Cuchara, we love the orders being shouted to the kitchen who just shout back and yet somehow keep track of all of it through the blaring music and boisterous crowd. We love the generous drinks and no nonsense staff who like people who love to eat. This place is my favourite restaurant in the world right now.

San Sebastian

La Cuchara de San Telmo
Calle de 31 de Agosto, Parte Vieja
San Sebastian, Spain

4 comments:

S Lloyd said...

May be you can help. I am planning to dine at La Cuchara de San Telmo and would have couple of questions:
(1)At what time does it open?
(2)Over the web, some have mentionned that some dishes had no $$ mentionned. I guess those are the dishes of the day. How much do they cost?
(3)If that is fine with you, can you provide the price of the meals you mentionned. That would be highly appreciated since I want to be prepared for the kind of money I should put aside for this place.
(4)I believe no one can book a table there. Would you know the best time to go there if I do not want to wait too long to get a seat?
Thanks

Kat and Kim said...

Hello S Lloyd. La Cuchara opens at 6 PM sharp. There is no seated room, just places to perch yourself at the bar. You place you order for food & drinks over the counter, and as it comes out, the girls behind the counter will recognize you and signal you over. It really is quite cheap, all of the dishes we had ranges from 3€ to a maximum of 12€. A great place to kick off the evening ....

WP said...

Hi I was wondering if you know on which are the closing days for La Cuchara in Summer (if any)? I was planning to stop over at San Sebastian for only a day while on the way to Bordeaux.

Also, will language be an issue? I heard they have an English menu, but will be evolving daily specials be reflected there?

Kat and Kim said...

Hi WP, We can't remember what day they shut Sunday or Monday. The menu is written in Spanish on the wall there is no English menu. We just picked a couple of things at a time and gave them a go. We tried everything there's only about twelve items and everything was amazing. Just remember the word for suckling pig...cochinillo.