Aldonando in San Sebastian Spain, is a traditional Catalan restaurant serving unpretentious, perfectly prepared regional specialties. It’s old school, with rustic wooden tables and old men smoking cigarettes. There are no plexi-glass counters or foamy amuse bouches served in bent spoons.
I never guessed they would have a modern French-style plated dessert like the chocolate pyramid. It consisted of a cake layer and two dark mouse layers, one very dark one less dark. The outside shell was also made from a light colored dark chocolate and was very soft not crisp. This is actually not easy to do and the dessert must be kept at a constant temperature after it’s made to keep its form. This dessert would have held it’s own in any of NYC best restaurants.
For our last meal in San Sebastian we went to the one-star Michelin restaurant Kokotxa for lunch. This place was the polar opposite of Aldonando. The interior was bright, airy and modern. Smoking was not allowed as it was inside Aldonando and we were served an amuse bouche in a decidedly bent, folded over spoon!
After a great meal I ordered the chocolate crisp – which turned out to be the same dessert that Karen DiMasco used to serve at Craft a few years back. I’m not certain she originated it but it was good then and it was good here as well. In any event, the crisp consists of phylo-dough wrapped, semi-molten, warm chocolate cake made from very dark chocolate. It was served with mango sorbet and was made to order over like a souffle.
This lunch represented somewhat of a splurge for team dessertbuzz, however we thought the staff was particularly friendly and helpful and I thought all the courses we had were special and perfectly prepared. I think Kokotxa lived up to their Michelin star.
Recommended: Aldonando chocolate pyramid, Kokotxa chocolate crisp
Aldonando is on Euskal Herria, San Sebastian, Spain
Kokotxa is on Campanario Angel, San Sebastian, Spain