I have been hooked on fine dining ever since my first Michelin star dinner experience abroad. Now when I travel, I always make sure to visit a Michelin star restaurant. Spain was no exception. Based on its location and availability, I chose to dine at Lasarte. Lasarte has been open since 2006 and received its 3 Michelin stars in 2017. It was time to explore what Chef Martin Berasategui had to offer.
Although you can order a la carte at most fine dining restaurants, I always order the tasting menu. I strongly believe that you are able to truly understand the chef through his or her tasting menu. Plus, if you're traveling abroad, you might as well go all out, right?
As expected, Lasarte starts its tasting menu with several amuse bouche including caviar on beet chips and seared foie gras. You can never go wrong with rich foie gras topped with caramelized sugar.
This appetizer was my least favorite, so much so that I can't exactly recall what it was. To the best of my knowledge, it was pea soup with cucumber.
And now we officially begin the dinner. The first course out of 10 is sweet potato, avocado and grilled corn, marinated hamachi, and coriander. The perfect way to start a flavor intense meal.
The second course is langoustine and ginger paired with an arabica Brazilian coffee infusion and roasted sheep milk. You wouldn't think coffee and langoustine work but they surprisingly do. The tender langoustine with little pops of coffee with the sheep milk is just heaven.
For the third course, we had squid tartare with liquid egg yolk and onion and kaffir consomme. The squid had a unique texture, almost crunchy, while the liquid egg yolk was rich and almost custard-like.
The fourth course was caper royale with seaweed and liquid tomato, tempered carabinero and coral soup. I'm not a huge fan of gastronomy but Chef Berasategui executes every step so well.
This beautiful dish was a vegetable leaf and petal salad with herbs, sprouts, lettuce cream, and lobster. Not having the chance to eat many vegetables during the trip, I thoroughly enjoyed this dish.
The 6th course, the wagyu ravioli with glazed eel was my favorite of the night. Topped with caviar and horseradish, the ravioli was tender and rich. The glazed eel added a sweet element to the dish, balancing the flavors.
Next was red mullet with smoked sardine and celeriac. The mullet was so intensely flavored that it almost tasted like the sea. Even if you don't like seafood, you might just fall in love with this one.
The final savory dish was grilled venison with black truffle cream, orange sauce, and spiced au jus. I couldn't help but compare this venison dish to the venison from La Pergola. In all honesty, I thought La Pergola's venison was superior; however, Lasarte's version was still excellent.
Just when I thought I couldn't eat anymore, the desserts arrived. The first dish was cardamom spheres with apple and yogurt. A lighter dessert to cleanse the palate.
The second dessert were pecan nut bonbons with milk rocks, coffee, and smoked whiskey. I fell in love with everything on this plate. If you like coffee and alcohol, you're bound to enjoy every bite.
Finally, we reach the end of our tasting meal with a trio of petit-fours. The previous desserts were delicious but the cheesecake bite blew me away. The petit-four shaped like an apple tasted like the creamiest cheesecake I've ever had. It was just beyond words.
That concludes the tasting menu from Lasarte. It's easy to see why this fine dining restaurant received 3 Michelin stars. Every dish is perfectly executed and thought out, leaving you with an excellent impression. Would I return in the future? Without a doubt.
Up next, 4 Day Madrid Itinerary.