It only took the prodigy chef Josean Alija a few months to win his first Michelin star at this elegant fine-dining venue in the Guggenheim Bilbao. Alija won accolades early in his career for creating prize-winning dishes like whipped milk-protein ice cream with candied violets, or roasted foie gras with candied carrots. Like many of the artists shown at the Guggenheim, Alija loves to confound expectation. Instead of serving roast pork with a leek sauce, he serves roast leek with an Iberian pork sauce and rice germ. To play off his famed foie gras, he makes a vegetarian version. His “simple” consommé turns out to contain little roasted cubes of foie gras, diced carrot, and anise, borage, and clams in a Parmesan infusion—dressed with truffle “tears” and croutons. To eat here is to enjoy dining as performance art. Note: The restaurant has a separate exterior entrance, but it can also be accessed from inside the museum next to the “The Matter of Time” constructions by Richard Serra.
Abandoibarra Etorbidea, 2
Our Rating Neighborhood Around Town Hours Tues–Sun 1:30–3:15pm; Wed–Sat 9–10:30pm Transportation Metro: Moyúa. Bus: 1, 10, 13, or 18 Phone 94-400-04-30 Prices Main courses 22€–35€; tasting menu 70€ Web site Nerua Other Reservations required. Closed 2 weeks at Christmas
MapAbandoibarra Etorbidea, 2 Bilbao
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