I found out a curious fact whilst researching pintxos bars in Bilbao. The chef (and owner?) at Bitoque Gastrobar is in fact from Manchester. So an experimental gastro bar in a city of world class food with a chef from my home town? Further investigation revealed that chef Darren Williamson previously worked for three Michelin Star Martin Berasategui too! I get the impression from websites that he's quite well known in restaurant circles. We had to go and check it out. I had the intention of asking him if he'd like to come over to open a temporary one night pop-up, cooking for us here in Manchester but I soon realised when we were there, that this is a ridiculous idea and I have no idea how to organise it logistically even if he agreed.
We arrive to an unspectacular but friendly local bar with a slightly less experimental menu than I had anticipated. However the food we find out is equal to any of the famous pintxos bars in San Sebastián. I caught site of the chef. Yep, he looked like a Manc but he didn't really look approachable, stood outside having a cigarette break. What was I thinking? He doesn't know me from Adam!
However we enjoyed the food here and would certainly recommend if you're in Bilbao (it's not too far from the Guggenheim). So if by the off chance you're reading this chef and fancy a short stint in your home town serving some of your fantastic pintxos to your fellow countrymen, give us a shout. We've changed, we can appreciate it now, honestly. We have an Ibérica now and everything.
We ate a creamy Salmorejo, Mushroom risotto, Ravioli and prawns (a touch over sweet), foie (always a joy) , gooey veal cheek (a favourite) and plump croquetas for relatively very little money.
Further reading. An article (translated from Spanish) via El Correo about the chef here.
Just found out it's closed down! :( Am sad, as it did do something different.ReplyDelete
In August I thought they were just on holiday like everyone else, but now upon inquiry, turns out that he is closed down & is working for someone else.