This summer my husband and I did a lot of driving. 8 hours from St. Tropez to Biarritz, then Biarritz to Bordeaux (4 hrs), and Bordeaux to Paris (5 hrs). I must clarify, as he did the driving and I was the passenger w the Google Map. During our drives which were not always so interesting, my husband and I played a few games to make the time go faster.  On one long drive we started trying to remember our top five favorite restaurant meals outside of the United States that we have  shared in our lives together.

We’ve had 24 years of eating together so there was much to discuss and and reminsce.

I thought you might want to read about a few of our favorite meals, then I will tell you about our most recent favorite from the summer. It was extraordinary!

I have previously written about 4 of our favorites restaurants.

Read about them here! L’Ami Louis, Chateau Bagnols, Lo Scoglio, Assunta Madre.  Now you will notice that our favorite meals are not fancy dinners with multiple courses. Two of them are roast chicken dinners, L’Ami Louis and Chateau Bagnols, and the other is farm to table in Italy, Lo Scoglio, and a seafood restaurant in Rome, Assunta Madre,  We decided some years ago that we don’t want to sit through long drawn out dinners.  We still love fine dining but we usually go a la carte these days instead of the 7 course tasting menu.  There are always exceptions though; so read on….

The fifth favorite restaurant is Asador Etxebarri which is one of  The World’s 50 Best Restaurants . The chef is a barbecue master, and you know how I love my barbecue,  But this was not like any BBQ that I ate growing up in Texas. Our friend Gerry Dawes,  made the reservation for us and it was worth the drive from Biarritz into Spain, — 2 and 1/2 hours back and forth!


This restaurant is nestled in the middle of the mountains outside of San Sebastian. The location was peaceful and idyllic.


Chef Victor Arguinzoniz was born in the village where he bought his restaurant with his uncle and father. His profession before he became a grilling wizard was that of a forester.


“Far from the noise, the restaurant preserves ancient techniques of grill cooking using carefully selected firewood from different trees to work in harmony with the locally cultivated, natural produce, to offer endless possibilities of truly wonderful dishes.”


Bread and Goat Butter

Our lunch began with goat butter and homemade bread.

We were so hungry; as we didn’t eat breakfast and it was 3PM. We started eating voraciously, and 6 guys at the table next to us warned us that we should take it easy as there were many courses and we had to save room for the huge tomahawk steak at the end of the meal.

And so the procession of courses began.  They were each simple on their own; as you can see but each element was grilled to  perfection.

My favorite course was the meaty porcini mushrooms.  I have never tasted mushrooms this juicy and flavorful.They were an explosion in the mouth.   However, every bite of every dish was memorable.


Juicy Thick Porcini Mushrooms

Here are the rest of my photos! Enjoy!


Sublime Smoked Oyster


Smoky Palamos Prawns


Smoked sardines with tomato on crostini


Calamari Perfection!


Scrumptious white fish


Tomahawk Steak


Blueberry Crumble Dessert