After doing a bit of research to answer the great question of where are we having dinner tonight, finally settled on Yandiola. A nice 15 minute walk from our GHDB hotel (another gem in Bilbao). Upon arrival to the block where the restaurant is located, a pleasant surprise that the location is at a beautiful old building that house some cultural and entertainment space. The building alone is worth a visit. Upon arrival we noticed that the building has a rooftop and since we had the time before dinner, decided to explore it. It turns out the rooftop is part of the restaurant, great place to grab a pre-dinner drink and mix with the locals, while overlooking Bilbao.
It was a weekday when we went, not terribly busy at the time. Started with the Pulpo (octopus) salad and what a delight. delicious. This dish alone gave me a good feeling that good things were going to happen. My wife who is a zero octopus fan, actually tried it, liked it and repeated....several bites. This dish alone is worth going back for, my taste buds will thank me. For main dishes, we ordered the Bacalao (cod) prepared two ways and the Cochinillo (pig). Both dishes were outstanding and typical from the region which is exactly what we wanted. Of the two, the Cochinillo won by a small close margin. As recommended, we ordered our dessert at the beginning of the meal and we settled on the pastel vasco (creamy pastry) which is from the region. Sadly when it was time for the sweet ending we were told it was not going to be available that evening. No worries, we settled on a homemade gelato which was perfect after our unhurried and tasty meal.
I would have liked to see less of our waiter who dedicatedly refilled our glasses of wine after every 3-4 sips. Then again, it was a wonderful bottle of Rioja, hard to resist the refills.
A phenomenal meal that will not break the bank. The same caliber in NYC will cost easily twice as much.
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