Saturday, October 27, 2012

Donostia: Spanish restaurant in Marylebone focusing on Basque cuisine


Donostia 

When my friend suggested meeting for dinner at Donostia, I instantly agreed based on the name alone. Donostia is the Basque name of San Sebastian - a gorgeous city on the coast of northern Spain where I have some happy memories of days spent on the beautiful beaches and evenings wandering around various tapas bars sampling pintxos. I like to think of Basque cuisine as Spanish food with a twist and I certainly saw that at this little namesake restaurant in Marylebone on Seymour Place


The food is flawless and there is a touch of creativity in every dish. For instance, the croquetas were made of Panko crumbs rendering them light and airy and probably the best that I’ve had in London.





Donostia Jamon Croquetas
Jamon Croquetas

We also tried the pan con tomates – toasted bread covered in luscious juicy tomatoes and a divine spinach and cod tortilla. 

Pan con Tomates Donostia Spanish food
Pan con tomates


The star of the show was the rib-eye steak - succulent rare meat with foie gras -  an utterly decadent combination. And of course I couldn't resist ordering a lemon tart. The bill did add up with the wine but without that, the food portion came up to around £20 which is quite a decent amount. Interestingly, the head chef used to work at Barrafina - one of my favourite restaurants in London. No wonder I liked all the food!

Donostia Rib Eye Steak with foie gras
O'Shea's Rib-Eye Steak with Foie Gras


What I really liked was the service and ambiance of Donostia. For example, when I called to make a reservation, they were full - pretty much a given on a Saturday night in London. But then the front of house, Melody said they keep some bar stools free at the chef's counter for walk-ins. She then gave us a call about 10 minutes before some seats were free – quite a easy and easy painless process compared to waiting for an hour in line at other places. It was refreshing to have someone be so helpful and accommodating. I later learned she was one of the owners of the restaurant. 

Donostia Lemon tart
Lemon Tart

Donostia is a welcome addition to the burgeoning restaurant population in Marylebone. If you can't be bothered to queue for ages at Jose or Barrafina - I highly recommend Donostia. It’s got a quieter atmosphere than the restaurants in buzzing Soho but sometimes that’s exactly what you want.

Donostia

10 Seymour Place London W1H 7ND
Tel: 0203 6201 845






Donostia on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

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