Rita : San Sebastián, Spain

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Today, I'm here to introduce what is surely the fanciest restaurant to grace the neighborhood of Egia. Since the opening of the Tabakalera cultural center in 2015 (or was it the opening of Dabadaba in 2014?), this San Sebastián neighborhood has been gradually shedding its reputation as a down-and-out, not-quite-as-safe part of the city.  Rita is its most recent debut, a very solid bet by the chef-about-town Ismael Iglesias.

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In a very Basque, on-trend way, Rita bets it all on securing high-quality produce. These artichokes are a prime example, fried lightly and so tender and flavorful.

Our meal continued with some mushrooms, topped with a tortita made from squid ink. As you can see, presentation is right up there with taste and product as a kitchen priority.

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Rita also brings some flavors that, for a local, can count as quite surprising, like grilled salmon with fennel puree and fresh fennel. Regardless of your familiarity with fennel, it will count as tasty. While we had a multi-course feast, Rita also offers a prix-fixe daily menu at €23.50, as well as a half menu at an affordable lunch price of €15.

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As long as you don't go without trying the amazing shredded suckling lamb, often wrapped around foie. And, as they say on Instagram....that tableware!

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You can see me being quite happy here...nothing gets me more excited than a dessert that you can tell someone has thought about for more than five seconds.

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And this beet-merengue dessert most definitely qualifies. Props to the kitchen crew for this one, which was light, not too sweet, and surprisingly delicious! I think it was both of our favorites.  The torrija (below) wasn't bad, either.

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Overall, Rita is the spot in Egia for a "fancy" dinner at reasonable prices.  And with its prix-fixe deal, not a bad lunch spot, either.  They also have a menu of conservas and fried raciones, from calamari to croquetas, perfect for snacking.  Everything here is done with a lot of love, so if you're looking for a spot for that Modern Basque food, here's Egia's nominee.

Restaurante Rita
Duque de Mandas, 8
San Sebastián (EGIA)
+34 943 50 72 88