Gelée de pomelo con queso, ensalada aromática y vinagreta de remolacha
Hilario Arbelaitz
Country: Spain
City: 20180 Oiartzun (Gipúzcoa)
Address: Araneder Bidea, Barrio Iturriotz
(+34) 943491228
Closed: Sunday, Wednesday, first two weeks of January, a few days after Easter and the last two weeks of October.
Price: 100/160 €
Tasting menu:: 115 €

We repeated it times and times again: “Hilario Arbelaitz changed the menu without a hint of alteration in his very defined identity”. Now, at full maturity, at a time when everything seemed to be defined, a discrete but significant change has occurred. Hilario, faithful to himself, still practices what he best does and loves: wise, refined, harmonic and creamy cuisine. What has changed is the latter aspect, “creamy”, ie. the density of the sauces and its impact on the main ingredients. The dishes have become more immaculate, purer, smoother, more slender, lighter, more dietetic and aesthetic…, less affected. They have gained a bit of personality preserving the identity of the cook, who has always been consistent with his feelings and bears silkiness and harmony inside. We are frankly happy about this evolution; a qualitative leap in which there are not so many proposals to be eaten with a spoon; a spoon that was, is and will always be made of gold and diamonds.
Hilario Arbelaitz, as level-headed as before, is more clairvoyant and modern than ever. His techniques and his modern chromatism offer very refreshing flavours: aromatic herbs salad with grapefruit jelly, cheese cubes and spherifications, and grapefruit vinaigrette. The classical cod brandade is dismantled to avoid the hotchpotch of flavours and allow the elements to express themselves individually: the sauce in the bottom of the plate, the potato on it, and the iridescent cod slices, accompanied by a hint of caviar and a crown of herbs oil. The chef also winks at the Japanese cuisine without going too far: marinated tuna on hardly gelatinized dashi soup, microvegetables and herbs salad, and mustard ice cream with a touch of wasabi. The style of the dishes is very constant: roasted crayfish with gelatinized ginger sauce, vanilla ravioli and various sautéed bulbs. Another testimony of nobility, precise doneness and pertinent accompaniment is the grilled Gillardeau oyster with foam of its own water. For more top raw materials, precision and naturality, taste the sautéed baby squids with sautéed vegetables and vinaigrette made with the animal’s ink. The red mullet filet lain on steamed endive leaves with pumpkin and orange, flowers and another foam belongs to a new generation. And the feast goes on with utterly exquisite pig’s trotters, previously caramelized and grilled in their juice, accompanied by some memorable mashed potatoes.