San Sebastián is easy to navigate when it comes to three-Michelin star spots and pintxo bars. The part everyone gets a little stumped about, however, are the in-between spots: the great lunch menu joints and the nice-but-not-that-nice dinner spots.
Well, here comes a big ole solution that problem. And it's called REKONDO. Rekondo is just on the outskirts of San Sebastián, climbing up the wind-y road of Monte Igeldo. Its menu is traditional Basque that falls somewhere between rustic and refined. Its food menu, that is. Its wine list on the other hand, falls somewhere between huge and GIGANTIC. I'm talking in the neighborhood of 300.
It's absolutely magic. Three hundred pages of Riojas, Riberas, even globally sourced wines. Have a special occasion to celebrate? Why not try a turn of the century wine (1899->1900 style) for something new? This bodega belongs to Txomin, an aging fanatic of good vino. And he has a sumillier to match, an Argentinian named Martín. He breaks out a special contraption for the older wines:
If you managed to sit through my laughter, you saw the process: heat a pair of metal plier-esque things, grip bottle, slap with cold water, and VOILA!
While the wine list is absolutely unmatcheable in the city, the food is nothing to scoff at, either. The txipirones en su tinta (calamari in their ink) above is a specialty. Some other can't miss dishes?
The clams are pretty renowned. And pretty. Simply dressed with their juice, oil, and parsley.
A lovely light dish, from a summer visit. Raw langoustines with avocado and a pomegranate vinaigrette.
And salmorejo, that old love of mine. I'm not sure if I recommend Rekondo more in summer or in winter. Summer brings the lovely weather of the terrace, while winter is cozy and steak-filled.
Which brings me to the fact that the txuleta is quite respectable, as well.
I'm just thankful for friends that introduce you to this kind of spot (Kevin). Also quite thankful to have this joint right around the corner, accessible at ten o'clock on a Monday night when, after having dinner, a craving for a really old bottle of red creeps in. And then you have three. Plus more dinner.
Rekondo : Igeldo Pasalekua, Donosti, SPAIN 943 212 907 (make reservations on the terrace)