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“Fourth Time Around!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Restaurante Solana

Restaurante Solana
La Bien Aparecida N011, 39849 Ampuero, Spain
+34 942 67 67 18
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Ranked #1 of 6 Restaurants in Ampuero
Price range: $40 - $70
Cuisines: Spanish
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Fourth Time Around!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

This restaurant never ceases to amaze me...
Every time I go to Spain, I make a special trip to Solana restaurant and have "El Menu de Degustacion"... This year I must say that it was a bit much .. the portions could have been smaller but the tastes were fabulous! The wild Alaskan salmon tartar was out of this world .. the almond and scampi soup .... no words can describe the textures and tastes .... yum ... yum ..
If you truly want to try dishes that you have never tasted before, come to Solana ...

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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102 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    71
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bilbao, Spain
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“It doesn't get much better than this”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

We have known this restaurant for years, back from the time the cook came back from Cookery School and took over his parents' old bar-and-traditional-food place. Back then it was quite a thing to taste food cooked and styled in a very contemporary fashion while sitting in simple table and chairs in this old bar next to other people eating a traditional stew.

We then saw this place becoming more and more popular until the cook went all guns blazing and decided to extend his restaurant into this brand new extension, where the looks now accompany the food.

I say all this because, to the cook's great credit, he has been able to incorporate what he was into what he is. The old bar is still there (now just a bar), the restaurant is served by the same local people who used to work back in the old days - including his sister- and the menu includes dishes which are a tribute to his family and his origins.

So the restaurant is now new, fresh looking and with huge ceiling-to-floor windows with spectacular views to the most amazing green mountainous landscape typical of the north of Spain. The tables are nice and big and spotlessly clean. The people who wait on the tables are attentive and warm, retaining that friendliness from back in the days but without much fanfare.

The food is simply delicious and the wine list is strong - although to me, it's all about the food here. They earned a well deserved Michelin star last year for the first time but I am extremely happy to say that it hasn't changed their ways or made them modify their menu to please the God of Michelin. They still do what they do best - cookery based on seasonal local produce, based on traditional cookery but incorporating some contemporary twists, that does not interfere with but actually enhances the flavours. And portions are good size as well - you will not leave hungry. If you happen to be around in season, you simply must order the fresh white asparagus which are served warm. If you are a dessert lover, make sure you try the tostada (slice of caramelised brioche pudding served warm).

This restaurant beats hands down many of the luxury places in Madrid, London or Paris. Even some of the places in the Basque country ;)

You will need a car to get there - it's about 30/40ish min drive from Santander, 45/50ish min drive from Bilbao. 15 min drive or so from Laredo. The restaurant is on top of a steep hill, with some sharp bends. The views though are quite something.

In terms of price, well, not particularly cheap but not ridiculously expensive either - last time we visited a couple of weeks ago dinner came to € 145 - three-course, dessert, coffee, one small bottle of white and one small bottle of red, plus some canapes and petit fours which were on the house.

A 10 out of 10 for me.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Probably the best food that I have ever eaten!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

Words cannot express how fantastic this restaurant is... Worth every euro as well as the Michelin Stars that it has... Hummmm.. the tar tar.... is terribly delicioso!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Almost Perfect”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

What can I say? An EXPERIENCE in capital letters. Individual starters are just a piece of art, I would recommend the "tartan de atun", or the "Royal de Foie" although all of them were really good (we were 14 in the table so I had the opportunity to taste almost all of them). Although the fish was good I would recommend " cochinillo confitado" (delicious).

Price is really very good, we paid an average of 45 euros witrh including dessert (some people did not order one) and wine, even a couple of us ordered a gintonic. I consider the price vey good considereing the quality of the food.

I would go back again and I hope to have the opportunity

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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World
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Excelent food, good service, funtastic view and poor decoration”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2011

This is a real pearl in the middle of Cantabria.
The young chef of determination, turned the teachings given by is mother and other chef where he staged or worked in a kitchen of exception.
The wine list is well-suited, may have some gaps, but nothing that offended, has room to evolve.
The service is exemplary, humble and friendly.
I was only sorry is that restaurant "gourmand" is glued to the cafeteria, but you can not have everything and after all have different ports and between them there is no link!
The food is truly exciting, with great creativity and great respect for the product.

  • Visited October 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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