RESTAURANTS OF SPAIN, Atxondo (Bilbao): Asador Etxebarri

Asador Etxebarri (Bittor Arguinzoniz): the Best Grill in the World. 1 Michelin ⭐

Nestled deep in the Atxondo valley, at the foothills of the magical Mt. Anboto, we find Etxebarri.

Far from the noise, the restaurant preserves ancient techniques of grill cooking using carefully selected firewood from different trees to work in harmony with the locally cultivated, natural produce, to offer endless possibilities of truly wonderful dishes. Etxebarri does not have to go back to try a new dish but to want to enjoy a good meal.

This philosophy connects perfectly with another of the trends in the catering sector. Many clients, tired of the special effects and the scarce connection with the origins, return to value the authentic and the ancestral. The Etxebarri barbecue proposal has been cultivating this line of work for years.

There is an important nuance that distinguishes Etxebarri from the rest of the restaurants that are above him – and all those that are below – and that is that they are radically different from Etxebarri. To enter the kitchen of any of them is to enter almost always immense spaces with the appearance of an aerospace laboratory, full of chefs and high-tech pots: siphons, Thermomix, Roners…

Bittor, on the other hand, only uses the embers, a spray with oil and the spatula. The kitchen of Etxebarri is a room of barely eight square meters in the basement of the building, with cranks on the walls to raise and lower the grills at will and a wood oven on the back. The feeling of being inside a submarine of World War II increases when we measure the temperature in the area where, two seconds before, Bittor’s face was: 76 degrees Celsius constant throughout the lunch service.

Green beans, oysters, squid, prawns, mushrooms, eels, caviar, butter, tuna, steak … are some of their proposals. And all of them grilled!

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