This recipe for grilled halibut was inspired by a meal Top Chef judge and F&W Special Projects Editor Gail Simmons ate on the Bay of Biscay in Spain. And, yes, the grilled turbot was (justly) the star of the meal, but perhaps the most unforgettable item was their famous Donostia Style Seafood Soup (from a recipe 50 years old, dating from the owner's grandmother). Scrub the potatoes, put them in a saucepan of cold water, add a good bit of salt, cover and bring to the boil. Herrerieta Kalea, 2, 20808 Getaria, Gipuzkoa, Spain. Part of the secret of the turbot lies in keeping the fish whole and the skin on, which protects it from drying out, along with regular squirts of olive oil and lemon. The topside is dark skinned since it faces the sea; the bottom is lighter as it is always against the sand. It also happens to be an asador. I may not have sorted out a place to stay, or even a plane ticket yet, but I've already mapped out an aggressive and detailed eating itinerary. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the fillets flesh side down and fry for two minutes. Once you begin to carve the fish into fillets, gelatin-rich juices from the turbot mix with the dressing (the remainder of which has been poured over the turbot), and with a little coaxing, this mixture can be emulsified into a beautiful, thick sauce, reminiscent of pil pil (a popular preparation for those kokotxas I mentioned earlier). I need to make sure I try Extebarri next time I go there (and of course, go back to Elkano again for their turbot). This usually works out well for my travel companions, who don't have to worry about eating poorly, so long as they don't mind downing four squares a day and embarking on the odd food-related pilgrimage. Apparently the turbot is in season now and it was the best fish we'd ever eaten and the hospitality and service was tremendous. And though we aren't restaurant critics, it was some of the freshest and best prepared seafood we've ever tasted. Over the course of the next few days, I put my growing dairy sensitivity issues aside in the name of burnished Basque cheesecake, ate more grilled steak than I had in the past five years (full disclosure: don't combine these two in fast succession; I overdid it on our last night in San Sebastián and made myself very ill, which was not ideal when I had to shake it off for our final meal in the area: a 20-course lunch at Mugaritz), and jostled for standing room and high-pours of cider. Once you have a good ingredient, says Aitor, the next important thing is not to ruin it! In a paellera (paella pan) for 8 people, heat oil and sauté onion on med heat until golden (about 10 min). Learn more on our Terms of Use page. Turbot is a large, sandy-coloured flatfish that, alongside Dover sole, lemon sole, halibut, plaice and brill, is one of the most readily consumed flatfish in the UK. The project in Cataria is a new venture and a chance to discover a new terroir. When planning a trip, I know where I am going to eat before any other logistical details are settled. Elkano is a restaurant of chefs; often recommended by all Spanish chefs I've chatted with; perfect for our birthday celebration lunch. (Photo by Matt Goulding) Elkano is the best fish restaurant in the world—period. Here you will get the best fish dish – char-grilled turbot. In the case of Elkano, in Getaria (Guipúzcoa), which is attaining a legendary career of more than 40 years, the turbot stands out for its virtuosity, followed by the collar of hake, the clams and, recently, the hake cheeks and baby squid. Turbot is easiest to cook when filleted – ask your fishmonger to do this. 16 reviews of Elkano "We were staying in an airbnb in Getaria and checked out the town on the web. Elkano is known for being the seafood restaurant in the village, commanding the best of the catch from local fishermen at the docks, which are at most a hundred yards away from the restaurant's famous outdoor sidewalk grill. Some comments may be held for manual review. He was recently asked to open a restaurant in one of the Iberostar hotel locations. T.F. A more traditional fish basket, like the one pictured above, will work just as well. However, you can still enjoy a turbot meal at the more informal Txoko, right next door to Kaia Kaipe, now under the supervision of Enrique Fleischmann of the Bailara restaurant in the Hotel Iriate Jaureguia. Located in the small seaside town of Getaria, just under a half-hour from San Sebastian by car, Michelin Starred Elkano looks not unlike many other restaurants throughout the Basque region but gaining substantial acclaim thanks to Grilled fish including the world renowned Turbot there is little doubt that there is something special setting this place apart. Tchokotxas or hake cheeks The restaurant is local and sustainable in practice procuring seafood from the Getaria area and local seafood nurseries. Bacalao a … Some historians believe that Basques landed i… How to Make Basque Fish Soup. Either way, the coals should be at moderate heat—not at their peak intensity—so as not to burn the skin of the turbot. At the restaurant they grill the Turbot with a unique fish basket that limits direct contact between the fish and grill grates. The family restaurant ‘Elkano‘ in a fishing village on the Bay of Biscay some 15 miles west of San Sebastian was awarded a Michelin star in 2015. Copyright © 2004-2021 Luxeat Consulting. I had pintxo routes mapped out, as well as directions for queuing up to reserve the best slice of tortilla in town. What are they eating? The cheeks, kokotxas in Basque, are a local favorite. In a time when fish and seafood stocks are being depleted by over-fishing and disrespectful harvesting techniques, it is more important than ever to support chefs like Aitor. Let people dig out the cheeks, and gelatinous bits from the head, sucking out every morsel of fish. Reserve the bones to make fish stock. The basic principle of grilling whole turbot in the Elkano style is simple. Everything is cooked simply, and perfectly. As a result, it really is a chef's dream to cook with, and it stands up to flavours that might drown out more delicate fish. Comments can take a minute to appear—please be patient! Simply separate the fillets down the center of the fish (you can use a butter knife, or if you are strapped for tools, a fish spatula will work just fine), remove the spine, and then separate the other two fillets. Another article said it was the best seafood restaurant in the Western Hemisphere! Turbot is a large, sandy-coloured flatfish that, alongside Dover sole, lemon sole, halibut, plaice and brill, is one of the most readily consumed flatfish in the UK. Turbot can simply be poached in white wine or grilled and served with a squeeze of lemon. 3. Bacalao a … Some historians believe that Basques landed i… How to Make Basque Fish Soup. Had to go. Located in Getaria, a small Basque fishing village, the speciality of this one Michelin-starred restaurant is Rodaballo (Turbot), simply grilled over burning charcoal with a generous sprinkle of salt and a secret sauce that coaxs the gelatin from the fish. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest recipes and tips! The version with pil pil sauce (olive oil, parsley, and garlic) is addictive; complex, full in flavour, and remarkably pure. When is the best time to catch them (before or after spawning)? At the restaurant, this filleting and sauce-building are done tableside. I hated doing due diligence during my very short-lived career as a paralegal at a DC law firm, but I will put in way too many hours figuring out where to find a really good meal. This recipe for grilled halibut was inspired by a meal Top Chef judge and F&W Special Projects Editor Gail Simmons ate on the Bay of Biscay in Spain. Grilled Turbot (rodaballo parrilla) is another famous seafood/dish served at Elkano and we opted for this for the main course.. Cook it. After plating fillets and both light and dark pieces of skin (which taste slightly different), the service captain tilts the serving platter so the turbot juices and the Lourdes water pool at the bottom of the platter. “I had lunch at a fabled fish restaurant called Elkano, just a 30-minute drive Lobster and turbot A must-order at Elkano is the Donostian delicacy - hake neck. Elkano is known for fish grilled over coals, the likes of turbot, red sea bream and monkfish cooked to smoky perfection by chef Aitor Arregui. Elkano, however, does not only serve turbot. Paco Ferreras, Elkano’s fish buyer for more than 40 years, arrived with boxes of mottled turbot, slimy with mucus, a sign of freshness. If you see something not so nice, please, report an inappropriate comment. Turbot, or rodaballo, waiting to be grilled. You could stop there, or follow the guidance of the Elkano staff, and go to town on the meat around the fins with your hands. Low and behold, Elkano, was rated one of the best 5 restaurants in the world. When you eat their grilled turbot, all of this becomes clear. Getaria is famous for its seafood, and the region's bright, slightly effervescent wine, Txakoli. Turbot has a flavour similar to something like a Dover sole, but the texture is much firmer, more like halibut. Elkano doesn’t have any Michelin stars, but you will struggle to find turbot of this quality even in multi-starred restaurants. Place fish in a single layer in a metal grilling basket coated with cooking spray. AKELARRE Avant-garde: a … Aitor is the son of the late Pedro Arregi, who founded Elkano in the 1960s and developed his own pioneering ways of grilling based on techniques used by local fishermen. This special recipe works just as well with halibut, sole, plaice, or any other flat fish. As homage to him I wanted to share the story of this man whose legacy of simple cooking using good products can be an example to cooks and chefs everywhere. If you are ever in this part of the world Aitor’s skill on the grill involves managing heat and cooking length to achieve the right level of doneness, without drying out the fish. While Elkano has an outstanding reputation, we were very disappointed in our lunch there. The technique that goes into cooking fish this well over charcoal is humbling. Located in the idyllic fishing town of Getaria, Elkano is one of Basque Country's best fish restaurants to savour turbot. They served half portions of our appetizers (txangurro and kokotxas- both also highly recommended)as recommended by our server so that we would enjoy the fish and it was definitely the right way to go. Elkano is in the middle of the small fishing village, with old-fashioned decor, a stone tiled floor and net curtains. Finally there's the head. Cook it Turbot can simply be poached in white wine or … Turbot are rich in collagen, which turns to gelatin when subjected to temperatures over 122°F (50°C). It was taken to a nearby station, where it was filleted, then returned to our table and served onto our plates. Chargrilled Turbot at ‘Elkano‘ restaurant The family restaurant ‘Elkano‘ in a fishing village on the Bay of Biscay some 15 miles west of San Sebastian was awarded a Michelin star in 2015. In an area that has many Michelin-starred establishments Elkano holds its own and its prestige and acclaim are well deserved. The cheeks, head and tail are all used and served to allow diners to explore the palette of flavor and texture that increases when you move away from the meaty flanks. It also happens to be an asador. Post whatever you want, just keep it seriously about eats, seriously. These aren't as 'new' here as we think: "Places such as Barrafina and Iberica will always have had dishes typical of the region, as will every good Spanish restaurant and deli in London," he continues – it's just we haven't noticed it before. I tracked down a couple of these fish baskets while in Getaria (the ones I got aren't perfect for turbot, and should be a little wider), but haven't been able to find them here in the States yet. Of course the turbot is a must but (not joking) ask for instructions how to eat it. “We buy the fish that was caught last,” he explains, and we taste the difference in the kitchen. This is the side of the fish that is in contact with the ocean floor as the turbot swims around looking for Cantabrian anchovies to snack on. Its specialty turbot dish, cooked whole on an open-air charcoal parrilla grill outside the restaurant, is served on the bone with sea salt and olive oil. The lobster was a cold dish great to open up our appetites and perfectly pair..... agreed to try the traditional Basque specially “Kokotxas”, or Hake throats. It came out as a whole fish at first, presented to us for our inspection and admiration. Other dishes are good here too, and the wine list is simply a joy. Rich, meaty and gelatinous with lightly crusted flesh, the turbot at Elkano is one of the most wonderful seafood experiences on the planet. The turbot is grilled on its dark-skin side first, for 4 minutes (all timing is based off my conversation and observation with the grill cook at Elkano). The family restaurant ‘Elkano‘ in a fishing village on the Bay of Biscay some 15 miles west of San Sebastian was awarded a Michelin star in 2014. Cullen Skink Is a Scottish Soup That Rivals the Best Chowders. Baked Turbot Fish When we traveled to basque country in northern Spain a stop at Restaurante Elkano was high up on our list. 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