La Cuchara de San Telmo – Pintxos – San Sebastián, Spain


La Cuchara de San Telmo

 Calle del Treinta y Uno de Agosto, 28, 20003 Donostia-San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa

Hands down I think La Cuchara de San Telmo is one of the best (if not the greatest) pintxos bar I’ve been to in San Sebastián. You order your food and drink (the bartender actually writes your order on a ticket! smart and organized pintxos bar…) and it is cooked ala minute. The bartender runs the food to you as soon as the food is ready, ensuring that your pintxos arrives to your plate piping hot and fresh. What surprised me even more was one of the bartenders  said “Guys, here are your pig ears!” to Susy and I when he was trying to get our attention. He claimed later that his English was good because he watched too much MTV. This by the way is the first pintxos bar that actually attempted to speak English.

Now on to the food…


Squid Orzo Risotto

Creamy, full of squid flavor, chewy chunks of squid, and the orzo was nicely cooked. Everything was seasoned well and tasted very fresh.


Calf Cheeks Braised in Red Wine

Extremely tender and succulent, everything was nicely seasoned and the mashed potatoes were chockfull of butter, it was great for such a rainy night in Donostia.


Seared Day-boat Scallop Wrapped in Iberico Bacon

Perfectly cooked fat scallop that was crispy on the outside and pretty much raw on the inside. It was extremely sweet, fatty, and was given the royal treatment of being wrapped in iberico bacon. The salsa verde of herbs and olive oil gave the dish a nice herbal bite. This was the best scallop dish I’ve tasted so far in the whole Basque country.


Crispy Iberico Pig Ear & Belly with Apricot Puree

By far the best pintxos I have ever eaten! Holy shit it was all sorts of decadent, rich, piggy deliciousness. You have the ear crisped perfectly so it’s super crispy on the outside yet still nicely mushy and soft on the inside. To add the icing to the cake, they had Iberico pork belly resting on the bottom of the Iberico pig ear. This in itself was otherworldly; the acorn fed fat of the pig just melts immediately into a fatty luxurious melange of meat, gelatin, and grease. The crispy pig ear added even more depth, flavor, and texture to the fatty and rich iberico belly. Everything was brought together with an apricot puree that was so sweet and tangy that it matched perfectly with the pork. This is not diet food my friends, I could feel the arteries tighten when eating this one…but it’s so dam worth it.


Seared Foie Gras with Apple Compote

This was outrageous after just eating the Iberico ear and belly dish. It was a beautiful small lobe of foie with a perfect crust, I haven’t seen one that perfect looking in awhile. It was seasoned nicely with chunky sea salt, sherry vinegar reduction, and a sweet apple compote. What more could you ask for in a foie dish?

Excellent customer service, excellent food (I had my best scallop and iberico pintxos here), good prices, great ambiance. Definitely at the top in my book!

~ by Clifton Su on February 14, 2013.

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