Eme be Garrote is the name of the new Martín Berasategui restaurant, which has opened San Sebastian, in the Ibaeta neighbourhood to be precise. This former sidrería, or cider house, has been transformed into what I can only call a deluxe sidrería.
The menu that Martín Berasategui offers us at his latest restaurant takes its inspiration from traditional, local ingredients, but with a haute cuisine twist, and prices to match. While more expensive than any average sidrería or restaurant in San Sebastian, the prices are not exorbitant, and are justified by the inventive and well thought-out menu.
The first thing you notice as you walk through the door is the decor. An effort has been made to maintain the feel of a traditional Basque farmhouse, but with a modern twist. Huge wicker baskets hanging from the ceiling act as lights. The old cider barrels are still in place, and the general decor feels somewhat Scandinavian, or Basque-Scandinavian in the words of the owners.
The Eme Be menu
We recently decided to give the restaurant a try. The first thing to catch our attention was the menu, a simple selection, with 7 starters, 7 mains (4 meat and 3 fish dishes) and 5 desserts to choose from. The menu is very straightforward, with all dishes costing the same- starters at €15, mains at €20 and desserts at €10.
One good thing about the menu is that it also offers half portions, the perfect option if you want to sample several dishes. A set menu is also available for €48, although to be perfectly honest it’s not all that worthwhile, not because of the price, but simply because for the same amount you can create a menu to suit your own preferences by ordering à la carte.
To start, we opted for a crumbled txangurro (spider crab) salad, oysters with creamed leeks, and poached egg served cool in a wild mushroom sauce. All of the dishes were very tasty, but it was the poached egg that really stole the show.
For our main course, we shared cuttlefish served in their own ink and pork chops with mashed potatoes, both of which were cooked to perfection.
For dessert, we decided to try the caramelised orange cake with rum and raisin sorbet, on the recommendation of the waitress serving us. I’m not really a sweet tooth, but must admit it was very good.
Pastel de naranja (orange cake)
The final bill came to €55 per head.
As we said, it isn’t cheap, quite the opposite, but if you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a special lunch or dinner and you want to try something new, Eme Be could be the perfect choice.
If you decide to visit Eme Be restaurant midweek, you can enjoy the daily set menu for just €30+VAT (only available Monday to Friday lunchtime).
More information: http://www.emeberestaurante.com/
Eme Be telephone: 943 227 971