The first time I became aware of Basque cuisine, I was standing in New Deal Fish Market in Cambridge, talking to the owner about the best way to prepare hake. "You should make it like they do in Basque Country," he said, and offered a loose description of cooking the fillet with clams, white wine, olive oil, lots of garlic, and parsley. Sounds goods to me, I told him, and left the shop wondering what else this northern region of Spain had to offer.
That was about seven years ago, and the images of the Basque food and landscape I read about as a result of that conversation hung in the back of my mind ever since. When my girlfriend and I were tossing around the idea of adding a second destination onto our Barcelona trip this fall, Basque Country—specifically, San Sebastian—was my first inclination. Just look at the Google images of the place; they're stunning. Oh, and it's considered one of the top food destinations in the world? We were sold—and can't wait to go back someday.
La Cuchara de San Telmo
La Bodega Donostiarra
Restaurante Bodegon Alejandro
About the author: Liz Bomze lives in Brookline, MA, and works as the Associate Features Editor for Cook's Illustrated Magazine. In her free time, she freelances regularly for the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, the Improper Bostonian, and Martha's Vineyard Magazine; practices bread-baking and canning; takes photos; reads; and watches baseball. Top 5 foods: fresh noodles, gravlax, sour cherry pie, burrata, ma po tofu.