Restaurante Zezilionea – Olaberria, País Vasco

Following a very brief introductory meeting with Alazne at TPT Bakery, Andoni, Marti, and I drove to a town called Olaberria. It was a rather foggy and overcast day (likes most winter days here…) but it was still great to drive through the rolling green hills of the Basque country side. We come to a plaza up on a hill where the restaurant is located:

Hotel Zezilionea

The restaurant had many local awards and was Michelin Guide Recommended. This is going to be awesome.

Dining Room

We let Andoni do the ordering. Unbeknownst to me, he orders an incredibly large amount of food! I was totally not ready for the feast that lied ahead

Porcini Croquette

Croqueta de Porcini

Perfectly crispy on the outside, creamy and smooth on the inside with chunks of umami rich porcini. It was also seasoned very well and had a very pronounced porcini flavor, one of the best croquettes I’ve ever had!


Porcini – potatoes, aioli, olive oil

Best porcini dish I’ve ever had. Huge juicy morsels of porcini perfectly seared on top of creamy potatoes. There was some garlicky aioli and olive oil to add even more richness to the dish. The dish was perfectly seasoned (most things I’ve noticed in Basque Country are really well seasoned, they love salt here!).

Foie with Seasonal Vegetables


Seared Foie Gras – seasonal vegetales, jamon, olive oil

It’s seared foie gras with perfectly cooked seasonal vegetables and fried jamon. What else could you ask for?


Grilled Dover Sole – garlic, parsley, olive oil

The biggest portion of dover sole I’ve ever seen. An entire side of dover sole grilled and served just simply with olive oil, parsley, garlic, and lemon. A tiny bit overcooked and tough for my taste… but flavorful in the end.

At this point, I thought this was the end to our meal, I was really full up to this point… little did I know this course was followed by a meat course 😮


Grilled Grass-fed Ribeye Steak

Just a giant 60+ oz grass fed ribeye grilled almost black and blue. It was extremely crispy on the outside and tender from the rare interior. You could tell this beef was fed entirely on grass its entire life and did a whole lot of free roaming in the fields. The result is an extremely grassy, almost gamey (what beef should taste like!), and slightly chewy texture .  The fact that it was cooked rare helped with the tenderness of the beef.

At this point I felt uncomfortably full (like you can almost feel the food sitting right under your neck full). No mas!

Thanks for lunch Andoni and Marti!


~ by Clifton Su on January 23, 2013.

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