Azurmendi – Bilbao

Corredor del Txorierri, Salida 25, Barrio Leginas/n Larrabetzu, 48195 Spain
0034 944 558 866 
www.azurmendi.biz

Opening hours: From Tuesday to Thursday from 13:00 to 15:15, Friday and Saturday from 13:00 to 15:15 and from 20:30 to 22:15, and Sunday from 13:00 to 15:15.

Chef: Eneko Atxa     

In March 2014, restaurant Azurmendi was suddenly catapulted to the 8th position of the top 60 restaurant list from the leading culinary website wbpstars.com. A few months later chef Eneko Atxa made his entry into the World’s 50 best restaurant list at position 26 and received the sustainability award. No need to say that this 3 star Michelin restaurant was at the top of our ‘to-do list’ during our last holiday in Spain. After this amazing visit we clearly understand why the team of Hertog Jan in Belgium went to Azurmendi to get inspired for their new restaurant concept.

After a trip of around 20 minutes from Bilbao we arrived at the beautiful restaurant near Larrabetzu. The modern glass building by architect Naia Eguino integrates perfectly with its surroundings. Azurmendi is a modern experience restaurant where guests can taste the passion that Eneko and his team expose every day. It is a story that combines high-end gastronomy, architecture and nature. The gastronomical restaurant is 100% sustainable and blends perfectly with the nature around it. The multi-use premises where it is located houses a gastronomical restaurant, a bistro pret à porter, a banquet space, a modern greenhouse, a winery and a culinary lab.

The full Azurmendi establishment is a cooperation between executive chef Eneko Atxa and his cousins Gorka Izagirre and Saioa Goitia. Eneko Atxa is a solid reference in the international haute cuisine. Only five years after the opening, Azurmendi has won the third Michelin Star on November 2012. Chef Eneko gained a lot of experience before starting the culinary evolution of Azurmendi. He worked with Martin Berasategui in Lasarte, Etxebarri in Atxondo and Kikunoi Honten in Kyoto Japan. During these formative years, Atxa also travelled around the world to discover the gastronomic delights of many different cities and countries.

In the morning we made a small visit to the wineyards from Azurmendi. The goal of winemaker Gorka Izagirre is clear and unmistakable, focusing on recovering and strengthening the native Onderrabi Zuri and Ondarrabi Zerratia grape varieties. With the latest technological advances in oenology the team focuses on achieving a high quality Txakoli wine (basque dry white wine).Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

The menu has two different tasting menus: the more classic Menu Erroak at 135€ or the modern menu Adarrak at 160€. We chose the Adarrak menu but both consist of a wide variety appetizers, starters and tasting dishes.

Upon arrival you are immediately greeted and welcomed on a glorious tour of the grounds and building. First stop is at the greenhouse and the edible garden, which is located on top of the restaurant facing the hillside. For each group of guests one of the staff members assists in walking through the gardens where the first appetizers are hidden between the plants, fruits and vegetables.Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Our aperitif: White wine Azurmendi Bodegas Gorka Azugirre 2013, Bizkaiko Txakolina D.O. which is an assemblage of the local grapes with 50% Ondarrabi Zubi & 50% Ondarrabi Zerratia.

First act: The Greenhouse

Fruity tomato, a Larrabetzu variety marinated in red fruit vinegar

Flower and citric cold infusion from the daily harvest

Pumpkin cookie with local cheese and pumpkin seeds

Guacamole bonbon like an avocado pitAzurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Mini carrot marinated in balsamic vinegarAzurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Citric bark: imitation of the skin of a citrus tree made of Jerusalem artichoke with an intense citrus gelAzurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

 When we arrived back at the entrance of the restaurant with indoor garden we received a picnic basket with the next round of appetizers.

Second act: Our Garden

Avocado airbag

Anchovy millefeuille

Caipirinha bonbons with TxakoliAzurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

At Azurmendi you do not have to wait till dinner is finished to visit the kitchen. After this second part of the welcome, guests are led through the kitchen. Here we could see immediately the strengths of the restaurant with an amazingly focused team, relax atmosphere and superb organisation.Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Third act: The kitchen

Gernika pepper with white vermouthAzurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko AtxaAzurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Menu Adarrak:

Leafs from mushroom & chestnut.Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Egg from Azurmendi hens, cooked inside out and injected with truffle brothAzurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

See Chef Eneko preparing the signature egg at WBPstars.com:

Bloody Mar flavoured with sea urchin, A cocktail with sea urchin water and a crunchy bread with celery, fresh meat & flowers from the garden.Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Gillardeau oyster with fried seaweed, anemone and foam of seaweed.Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Tartlet from spinach with tomato, cheese Idiazabal, basil and ice cream of cheese. As a wine pairing I loved the G22 2012 by Bodegas Gorka Azugirre. This from Ondarrabi Zerratia impressed with complexity, acidity and body.Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Natural spider crab and apple noodle with a cannelloni from apple filled with apple foam, which had a very nice balance between the acidity of the apple and the crab.Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko AtxaRoasted lobster out of the shell on oil herbs and sweet chives. On top a cornet with lobster tartar and the dish was served with a bright green chive olive oil and a chive emulsion.Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Squid noodles with an infusion of squid broth, pickled onions, tobiko eggs and a choux pastry of the squid ink.Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Chickpea stew with cow tail, ravioli of oxtail, fried bread.Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

White tuna belly roasted in charcoal, garlic flowers, charcoal roasted and roasted red peppers infusion. On the side marinated tuna belly tartar and mustard.Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Wild pigeon from the Basque forest on a duxelle with cheese, tin toast with delicious pigeon foie, mashed potato with olive oil and crunchy cauliflower.Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Dry croissant of cranberry fruit filled with creamy fresh cheese, aroma of thyme, rosemary and lemon grass.Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Roasted apple bonbons with apple compote, dots of gel from rocket salad, apple sorbet and in Txakoli wine marinated fresh apple. Next to it came a bowl with dry ice and mint leaves onto which some apple juice was poured. This upgraded the presentation of the dish and gave some nice aromas.Azurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Cake with figs, ice cream made from the leafs of figs and crunch of figsAzurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

Petits foursAzurmendi - Bilbao - Eneko Atxa

This tasting dinner at Azurmendi has been without doubt one of the top 5 meals we ever had. As a person chef Eneko is one of the most friendly and passionate chefs we met. The way he is managing his team in a respective and well-organized way, complimented the general atmosphere. At Azurmendi, a visit becomes more than just going to a restaurant and the experience will stay as an unforgettable memory. The food is prepared with all modern techniques but stays very flavorful. The innovation is there to compliment the top class ingredients in which Eneko finds a great balance. If you are in the Bilbao area, Azurmendi is the place you really have to visit. CY soon,

Be-Gusto

Be-Gusto score:                           18,5/20
Be-Gusto price/quality score: 19/20
 
Azurmendi
Corredor del Txorierri, Salida 25, Barrio Legina
s/n Larrabetzu, 48195 Spain
TEl: +34 944 558 866
www.azurmendi.biz
Opening hours: From Tuesday to Thursday from 13:00 to 15:15, Friday and Saturday from 13:00 to 15:15 and from 20:30 to 22:15, and Sunday from 13:00 to 15:15.
 

Visiting a great restaurant deserves great friends to join, thanks all for the amazing day!Azurmendi visit

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