I knew that I would be eating well in Basque Country. After eating our way around San Sebastián, my sister and I made our way to Bilbao to spend a culturally, foodie weekend with a friend.
What I didn’t expect, was Nerua.
As I always do, I was reading about some places to eat before arriving and came across it. Located in the Guggenheim, museum of contemporary art, it has one Michelin star and is the brainchild of talented and young Basque chef Josean Alija. I wanted to see the Guggenheim. I wanted to eat well. It was a no brainier.As you might expect, given that Nerua is located within Frank Gehry’s famous architectural institution, its design is an extension of the place. Clean lines and pristine white spaces give it a sophisticated and airy edge.
Before we were even taken to our table, the maître took us by the open kitchen. Here, we had the chefs’ starters (amuse bouche) that you become accustomed to having at your table. We stood and watched as dehydrated cod fillet skins were fried to a crisp and then we ate them like chips. I thought to myself, this is going to be a great lunch. And it truly was. The tasting menus here are designed so that each course and dish focuses on a specific product so you have a 9, 14 or 21 product menus (€110, €145, €175 + wines).
We opted for our own menu and I had the: shrimp, pod and peach to start; crab with cauliflower and corn broth and a chocolate and hazelnut praline open tart for dessert. The sommelier and staff were friendly and as knowledgable as you’d expect of a Michelin star restaurant.
If you’re in Bilbao and looking for a unique and outstanding dining spot, do not go past Nerua.
Signing off from Trastevere,