Under normal circumstances, our extravagant meal at Akelarre would have been followed by a solid week of home cooking to give our arteries and bank accounts a chance to recover. Alas, our honeymoon was anything but normal, so The Astronomer and I headed out for a three-course lunch at Bodegón Alejandro instead.
Supervised by 3-star Michelin chef Martin Berasategui, Bodegón Alejandro is a casual taverna serving traditional Basque cuisine with a splash of innovation. My brother ate here three times in four days when he last visited San Sebastian and encouraged us to do the same.
After hoofing it down a flight of stairs, we reached a charming subterranean space with bright yellow walls and sturdy wooden furniture. We had the lovely room mostly to ourselves because we once again managed to arrive at the tail end of lunch service. [Truly, this was the story of our lives for two and a half weeks!]
Bodegón Alejandro offers a three-course lunch for 34.50€. The menu changes daily and features a variety of options, each one highlighting the seasonality and bounty of the Basque country.
While we perused the menu, we nibbled on slices of crusty country bread and thin rye wafers served on a log.
After we carefully selected our starters, mains, and desserts, amuse bouches arrived at the table. The shot of white asparagus soup was balanced and cool.
My midday feast began with three fresh pasta ravioli filled with spider crab meat, swimming in a pool of crab broth. I tend to shy away from ordering ravioli at restaurants due to skimpy portions, but I was glad that I took a chance here because the serving size was most satisfactory. The thin, wonton wrapper-like noodle allowed the crab meat to shine.
The Astronomer was in a soupy mood and went with the San Sebastian-style seafood soup. It included a few clams, prawns, mussels, and garlic-flavored angler fish. The broth was ladled tableside to assure that the fruits of the sea didn’t overcook. After such an epic meal the day before, these simple and satisfying starters were just the thing to comfort our taste buds and ready them for more.
For my main course, I chose baked lobster with creamy saffron rice (6.50€ supplement). The folks in the kitchen prepped my hefty lobster perfectly, so that its meat came out of its shell by the hunk-full. It’s amazing how easy half a lobster goes down my gullet.
The Astronomer’s grilled deer loin with rustic potatoes and dried apricot and vanilla sauce was a little sweet, a lot savory, and even a touch salty. The Astronomer loves venison.
To finish, a thick slice of warm French toast soaked in cream and honey and then caramelized to golden perfection. The little slice of heaven was served with tart cream cheese ice cream, a local specialty.
The Astronomer’s warm green apple pie with rosemary trifle and milk ice cream was reminiscent of our apple tart from the day before, minus the apple-flavored “paper” tent. Rosemary pairs so fantastically with tart green apples.
Our meal wrapped up with some house-made chocolates…
…a shot of a rice pudding liqueur, and warm almond cakes.
We would’ve loved to return to Bodegón Alejandro two more times a la Victor Danh, but our days in San Sebastian were numbered, and we had yet to try any pintxos!
Restaurante Bodegón Alejandro
C/ Fermín Calbetón, nº 4
20003 San Sebastian – Donostia, Spain
Phone: 34 943 427 158