n.06 : San Sebastián, Spain

no.6 san sebastian IMG_8830.jpg

As an expat resident of San Sebastián, one always appreciates a break from the monotony. Yes, I said monotony.  There are days when you just can't stomach the thought of more foie or a beef cheek pintxo (although tortilla never seems to get old).

Little by little, the restaurant offering of San Sebastián begins to diverge from the pintxo bar, asador, Michelin schematic.

no.6 san sebastian IMG_8837.jpg

Stepping foot into the new-ish n.06 wine shop-slash-restaurant gives the impression of stepping into a warehouse or an unfinished retail space. And indeed, this is a space that leads with its wine shelves, which at any given time have somewhere around 300 different wines.  The selection favors small producers, and the owners insist that if it's on the shelves at the supermarket, they aren't interested.  There is a small selection of high-end olive oils, conserves, and other snacky foods, too.

no.6 pate san sebastian IMG_8832.jpg

Continuing towards the back, you enter the zone of the bar/restaurant. If you can, grab a seat at the stone bar area, which juts into the shop—the back "restaurant" is just a room whose light is too bright and sound is too echo-y.

no.6 san sebastian IMG_8836.jpg

The menu is a mix of snacks (cheese plates, tuna belly, paté, and some really delicious cured lomo) and main dishes, all of which are cooked mainly sous-vide, to get around local licensing issues.  

no.6 san sebastian IMG_8833.jpg

Sweetbreads with polenta, celeriac with sweet potato pure, ginger-squash-orange soup...these are dishes that sound more at home in Portland than San Sebastián.  This happy branching out is, for the most part, tasty, if a bit expensive.  

no. 6 san Sebastian IMG_8834.jpg

The best part of eating at n.06, and the reason I send people, are the choices you have with the wine.  A rotating by the glass menu is nice, but if you go with a few friends you can taste your way through the whole shop, grabbing a bottle between courses to open for the table. From the Jura to the rare Rioja wines, the choices are lovely and varied, and that is the real reason to visit no.6.

no.6 san sebastian IMG_8831.jpg

Calle Garibay, 6
20004 Donostia – San Sebastián
+34 943 968 739