n.06 : San Sebastián, Spain
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Calle Garibay, 6
20004 Donostia – San Sebastián
+34 943 968 739