Spain has got to be one of my favourite places to eat! I mean you can’t really eat badly here. We met up with Margaret and she showed us around some of her favourite eating haunts in the city. Our first stop was this Cafe Irvoia the place is more than a 100 years old and it’s still happening to this very day. I loved the richly decorated interiors influenced by the moors. You can also feel a heady Morocan vibe in the air as the biggest pintxo hit in the joint are the BBQ Morrocan lamb skewers best taken with a glass of Rioja and lots of cheer.
We made a bee line to the BBQ stand and found a nice cozy corner to catch up and just explore the place. There is also a restaurant in the back which had the most intricate walls and ceilings. It was really a feast for the senses. We essentially had a pre-dinner drink and bite here before heading to the main event. Nix and I were craving for some Paella and Margaret knew exactly where to take us. I on the other hand wanted to try this called Pil-Pil which is a very traditional Basque dish made from the cheeks of the Bacalao fish. I have never had this dish before and it was really tender, succulent and really delicious.
The very next day we had time to explore more of Bilbao and headed over the main square and visited one of the prettiest restaurants in the city called Victor Montes. A virtual institution in the city serving classic Basque dishes for decades. What I love about Victor Montes is it’s nod to the old days where one lived in a slower pace and perhaps savoured life more. Here Nix and I had a coffee and a small crab sandwich while we leisurely took all the views in. We then walked to one of the newest architectural project of Philippe Stark in Bilbao. What was once a dreary old building is now one of the most interesting multipurpose halls in the city. It houses a gym, a library and many event spaces that fill the city with numerous cultural delights. I loved how you can really feel Stark’s playfulness as each column featured an original design ranging from Roman columns to a chinese dragon twirling around the beam. Over all it was what I would call a very successful food & design exploration. LOL!