30 January 2017

ANDRA MARI, BILBAO

Last summer when we arrived in Bilbao, we checked into the beautiful Hotel Miro, spent the morning wandering around the city centre then jumped into a taxi to go for lunch at the Michelin-starred restaurant Andra Mari for an eight course tasting menu.  What a welcome to the Basque region.

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Situated just outside of Bilbao in a pretty. quiet little town in the hills called Galdakao, Andra Mari is in a traditional wooden farmhouse with elegant, rustic decor and fantastic views overlooking the lush Ibaizábal river valley.  Founded in 1964 by Patxi Asúa, whose son, Roberto, now manages the restaurant, Andra Mari is known for its classic Basque cuisine with a contemporary touch, using regional ingredients, seasonal vegetables and local fish in modern dishes.

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

The first course was tomato confit served on black olives crumbs, followed by lamb sweetbreads with lemon and black beer followed by mushrooms served on potato and crunchy egg ravioli.  We went for a bottle of the dry Txakoli Sasine white from the local Butroi Winery which, with its high acidity, cut through all the different flavours nicely. The next course was green rice with mollusks and ginger aioli, roasted pilgrim scallops with celery cream and a rich veal cheek with black garlic cream and romesco.

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

For desserts, we had a juniper panna cotta, basil jelly and light almond foam, and a delicious, moist carrot cake with coconut and yoghurt ice cream. We soaked up the charming ambience and beautiful views, finished with coffees, were shown around the wine cellar and finally headed back into town. I do love those three hour lunches... Andra Mari beautifully combines Basque gastronomy with haute cuisine, has a welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff, and is definitely worth the short taxi ride from Bilbao - highly recommended.

Andra MariBarrio de Elexalde, 22, 48960 Elexalde Galdakao, Vizcaya, Spain
See more restaurant reviews Spain features

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog

Michelin star lunch at Andra Mari in Bilbao, Spain | travel & foodie blog
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