Morcilla is one of those restaurants that's been on my dream list for quite some time.
The restaurant has been named one of the best in the country by Bon Appetit, and it's routinely lauded by foodies near and far.
The two things I’m about to say aren’t food-writer hyperbole: (1) is the most underrated chef in America. (2) His new restaurant serves the best Spanish food I’ve had outside San Sebastián. I realize all this halfway through my meal at Morcilla, his love letter to the pintxos-eating, cider-drinking, fiercely independent Basque region of northern Spain. In front of me is a refreshing gin and tonic poured with house-made tonic and garnished with juniper berries and citrus, a foamy glass of Trabanco cider (yes, that’s a second drink, but it was dispensed from a two-foot-tall custom tap shaped like an arm!), and an army of small plates that I can’t keep my hands from. (Bon Appetit)
Unfortunately, it had been closed for quite some time due to water damage. And when it finally reopened, it was tough to get reservations. But we got it.
My group of four ordered a few small plates to try a little bit of everything on the menu. Above is fried artichokes with anchovy aioli and burnt lemon.
Manzanilla olives with citrus, rosemary and olive oil.
The Cecina, with smoked shallot and radicchio.
Bread with pate.
CHAMPINONES A LA PLANCHA - oyster mushrooms, egg yolk, shallot, bread
OCTOPUS A LA PLANCHA - sesame yogurt, cucumbers, crispy pickled chickpeas, merguez spice - this was SO good! I've never had crispy chickepeas before. They were a little sweet, plus the yogurt - phenomenal!
CHORIZO - pork salami, pimenton dulce, dates, cabrales cheese, vanilla - the light sweetness with this salami was so, so good.
BRANDADE DE BACALAO MONTADITO - salt cod, caramelized crab, lemon oil
OXTAIL MONTADITO - caramelized onion, mahon cheese, baguette - this was my favorite dish of the evening. It was so well balanced and absolutely delish.
Crema Catalana - like a mix between ice cream and creme brulee.
Churros with hazlenut chocolate fondue.
Such a delicious restaurant. What's your favorite item?