Monday, November 1, 2010
Bistrot Guggenheim, Bilbao
We caught the tram over to the Guggenheim Museum, which is a little oasis on the edge of the river with green grassy knolls laced with daisies lined with students, families & groups of friends taking in the morning sun.
Admittedly, the art that drew us to the museum wasn't Jeff Koons’s Puppy .. although the discovery of this beautiful piece was a delight on a glorious sunny day. The giant puppy towering into the sky, embezzled with all sorts of bright flowers ...
Nor was it the works of Anselm Kiefer, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, James Rosenquist, Clyfford Still, Cy Twombly, or Andy Warhol. It wasn't even Richard Serra's sculptures that had as anticipating this visit .... Local artists Eduardo Chillida, Cristina Iglesias, Juan Muñoz, Jorge Oteiza, Antonio Saura, and Antoni Tàpies weren't enough to draw us in, but the culinary art, tasty creativity & edible sculptures of Josean Martínez Alija is what brings us to the Museum.
Of course we do go into the museum, and spend a few hours wandering around and appreciating some of the pieces. The works of Anish Kapoor, which were a limited show at Bilbao, were amazing. Giant tubs of red wax in various forms, and all sorts of artwork & sculptures that changed over time. But back to my favorite sort of art, the stuff that sits in glasses, or on ceramic ... that is appreciated with the use of a silver implement and excites all of the senses.
Restaurante Guggenheim the Gastronomic Restaurante & the Bistrot on premise. We are taking up the unbeatable 18€ set course lunch at the Bistot today - 3 courses with red wine, mineral water & bread. The menu is announced at the table along with the arrival of the amuse buche, a refreshing tomato & watermelon gazpacho.
There are several options for each course. Lighter appetizer options excited us, so much foie, jamon & fried foods were taking their toll. I start with a bulgur wheat. It was amazing! So much flavor, brunoise of vegetables throughout, with a vibrant & viscous sauce coating each grain.
Kim chooses the mange tout with potatoes. Perfectly plump mange tout still with a nice bite sit above chunks of potato floating in an intense green broth with a dusting of paprika.
Pork meatballs with curry sauce are rich and robust. The meatballs are juicy and exploding with flavor - herbs, seasoning, onion and vegetables. They are sitting in light curry broth, which is delightful mopped up with the crusty bread.
The prized work of the day is the little chicken wings. Deboned and pan fried until golden, they are sitting on a polenta spiked with black olives and a little of the pan juices. It's so nice to see the humble little chicken wing take centre stage, and really deliver on flavor. Yum!
A duo of cakes completes a delightful lunch. The pear and vanilla cake still warm, with a pear & vanilla puree and chocolate sorbet.
Rice cake with cinnamon ice-cream arrives at the table, it's a little bit abstract art and a whole lot of yummy. Light cubes of rice-pudding like cake with a rich cinnamon ice-cream.
It certainly beats the expensive sandwiches & average museum meals I remember from my childhood.
Restaurante Guggenheim Bilbao
Avda. Abandoibarra nº 2
48001 Bilbao, Vizcaya
T +34 944 239 333
F +34 944 242 560