We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Very uninteresting cuisine”
Review of Etxanobe

Reserve with
Etxanobe is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #5 of 1,159 Restaurants in Bilbao
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $88 - $106
Cuisines: Seafood, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Description: Etxanobe restaurant is amazingly sited above Bilbao���s second iconic building, the gleaming Palacio Euskalduna. Etxanobe is one of the hottest dining spots in the world right now, drawing breathless reviews from food-writers and food-lovers for the grand cuisine of chef/owner Fernando Canales. The post-modern d��cor of the two dining rooms ��� one of them available for private hire ��� features a fabulous ruched fabric ceiling, wittily skirted lighting, white linens and seating, and unforgettable views over the estuary and the Guggenheim from the terrace. Light pours in everywhere. Innovation is on display in every mouthful that emerges from Canales��� kitchen. There���s no menu of the day; you choose a la carte or a series of tasters. Dishes change monthly and may include deceptively simple descriptions like starter of lasagne of anchovies, main course of sole with pil-pil sauce and trout eggs, and home made dessert of cinnamon and rice puff-pastry with milk, though you���d be mad to miss the little chocolate bombs. The wines are excellent and the service is a mission unto itself ��� in a word, sublime.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

There were a couple of pointlessly technical amuse bouches (tired effects with liquid nitrogen, 'liquid olives' to be piped into one's mouth), followed a disconcertingly plain dish of mushroom croquettes. Just five sorry looking, irregularly made croquettes lined up in your dish, no garnish whatsoever: a boring, repetitive and inelegant dish for a Michelin star level restaurant. A single langoustine in a mushroom cream was good (though the cream was in such large quantity compared to the lonely langoustine that the dish soon became again a little boring).

A cod was nicely cooked and of good quality, served in a pil pil sauce, accompanied by a razor clam whose sauce was also in the pil pil. The flavour was good though lacking power. The dish was a bit simple at this level. Same comments go for the final savoury course, a venison of good quality presented with no garnish in a not too intense sauce. The dessert was pleasant and forgettable.

The room is a bit dated but has nice views. Service was kind but sometimes embarrassingly unprofessional. Chef Fernando comes at your table and seems like a nice guy. Prices would be OK by Michelin star standards, but sadly for me this restaurant is well below that standard, hence I find the prices completely unjustified for what is offered. All in all I found the the cuisine here not unpleasant but utterly uninteresting.

1  Thank thoughtfuldiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (1,399)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

245 - 249 of 1,400 reviews

Reviewed November 8, 2013

We had gone to this restaurant last year but apparently did not chose the right dishes. The menu lets you chose the dishes but the whole table has to have the same. But we fell in love with the restaurant itself and the service. This time we asked the chef to select the menu for us. He came to our table and told us his recommendations. They were outstanding. We also set outside in the terrace which made the meal more memorable. He also explained how he prepared some of the dishes and gave us a signed copy of his cookbook. It was among the best meals we had around Bilbao (just below the 3 star restaurants in St Sabastian).

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Ataman A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2013

A friend recommended this restaurant and our party of 5 was thrilled he did. The wine list was impressive - and two members of our party know their wine. We all ordered the gastro (5 course) menu and were blown away by every dish. While the decor inside appears surprisingly dated - we all agreed it looked like a wedding banquet hall - we sat outside on the terrace overlooking the river, the mountains and the Guggenheim; it was a spectacular view. The meal was surprisingly inexpensive for the dining experience one receives. I forward the recommendation.

Thank Xmtler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Etxanobe lies on the third floor of a concert hall complex, offering delightful views across Bilbao or has seating inside a ceiling-draped room, decorated with fruit scenes/Old Master paintings.
It is lovely to be greeted by chef Fernando Canales but weird that he appeared at every course and acted throughout as the Maitre d', rather than as chef. The kitchen disappointments must largely be done to his absence from that department
Menus in both Spanish and English are offered plus an ipad which illustrates the dishes: an original approach!
Two bon bouches came: melon with a sardine sauce; tomato with black olive sauce
A good selection of cold breads, served generously
Charcoal-grilled octopus with three small Japanese tubes was first class: meaty and perfectly cooked
'Eggs with custard truffles' was not a success: it turned out to be raw egg! No description of rawness was given on the menu or mentioned when placing the order
The main courses were hake, both undercooked (another sign of Canales's absence). One was grilled and very salty (35 euros); the other was served with scampi and crab juice (30 euros). The plates for both fish courses were cold
A short wine list is available. A crisp white Basque (Txakoli) was chosen - carelessly poured with wine spilling onto the napkin. The water - Perrier, not Spanish - was poured by another waiter, again clumsily and with such force that the water glasses almost broke
Complimentary petit fours were unmemorable
Overall, in Michelin terms, this restaurant does NOT deserve a rosette but a couple of forks

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
4  Thank conalgregorymw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013 via mobile

Location excellent once you find it , nice viewson outsidearea , food great but a bit expensive compared to other in city

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Conrad V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Etxanobe also viewed

Bilbao, Province of Vizcaya
Bilbao, Province of Vizcaya
Bilbao, Province of Vizcaya
Bilbao, Province of Vizcaya
Bilbao, Province of Vizcaya
Bilbao, Province of Vizcaya

Been to Etxanobe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing