El Molino de Urdániz

Espárragos salteados
David Yárnoz
Country: Spain
City: Ctra. Nac. 135, km. 16,5
Address: 31698 Urdániz (Navarra)
(+34) 948304109
Closed: Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesday nights and two weeks in February.
Price: 60/90 €
Tasting menu:: 70 €

We said it in previous editions: “Conceptually and technically speaking, David Yarnoz deserves a better mark. To do so, he needs to adapt his means to his ends. And to polish his dishes, too, which are really complex and complicated. Jellies, airs, minerality, earths...”. The situation has just slightly changed: although the intellectual grandeur and the resources the constructions are based on have been considerably reinforced, the house keeps on suffering from a lack of cooking staff to sort out such difficult compositions in situations of large demand. In other words, if you go there during the week, when three or four tables are served, your meal will deserve at least 8/10. If you visit the place at weekends, the result won’t be so good. In spite of this double reality, we decided to raise the mark because of the grandeur of the recipes and because of the chef’s commitment, but conscious that the impression is a bit lower when more than twenty guests attend the place.
This new step is confirmed by the latest menu, 60% of which have been renewed compared with last year’s. The best choice is the tasting menu, a combination between consecrated dishes and the most recent and mind-blowing creations. The paprika ball filled with chistorra (paprika sausage) is still informal and funny. The semi-raw sardine filets, soaked with an enhancing beech wood, arranged onto a fantastic composition of pickled anchovies, black olives, lentil shoots and roasted spring onion, are lucid and impeccable. This constant presence of multiple elements is sorted out with an exquisite and magic simplicity. The sautéed scallop with young leek stalks, swimming all in a mussel infusion soaked with spicy touches, is really daring and virtuous. The sautéed artichokes, utterly noble, accompanied by sautéed salsifies and vegetable stew, are impeccable. Another wink at local cuisine from a galactic point of view is the warm ajoarriero cooked at 50º C with its emulsified sauce and blue potato foam. The pigeon breast, frankly bloody, immaculate, garnished with a sherry and truffle caviar as well as an airy sponge cake of seaweed, is simply brilliant. The roasted free-range chicken lain on earth broth made with the animal’s juice, brandy and acidulate air offers deep flavours and sculptural aesthetics. And if you want some 10/10 product, 10/10 doneness and 10/10 design, don’t miss the suckling pig swimming in an essential Iberian garlic juice with celeriac and lovage. And so go the delicacies on and on… Bravo!