Food: Grilled fish- and seafood
Address: Herrerieta Kalea 2, 20808 Getaria, Spain
Phone Number: +34 943 14 00 24 (only reservation by phone)
What I paid: 171 € (for two persons having kokotxa, turbot, dessert, water and txakolí)
Visited: June 5, 2014
Getaria is a historic little fishing village located on the coast of Guipuzcoa about 22 km west of San Sebastian. Famous for its grilled fish- and seafood and situated in the middle of the town is restaurant Elkano.
Elkano is definitely the main attraction of the small cozy village with cobblestone streets and quaint buildings dating back to the 1500’s. However, if anything, Getaria is known for its Txakolí (a Basque wine) of good quality, which gave rise to the Designation of Origin-Getariako Txakolina. Getaria also houses a nice beach and the Gothic church of San Salvador (built in the 15th century).
Before we had our starters we were offered a lovely little lobster soup.
Kokotxa, the fleshy underpart of a fish’s jaw (“throat”), is a delicacy in Basque cuisine. Kokotxa of Hake fish, is one of Elkano’s signature dishes. It is usually cooked using three different methods: fried, grilled and in a pil pil style sauce (made of olive oil and fresh herbs). This was our choice in regards to the starters.
Grilled Turbot (rodaballo parrilla) is another famous seafood/dish served at Elkano and we opted for this for the main course.
When we visited Elkano it was a good season for turbot that, due to rising water temperatures, swim down to deeper colder water and as a consequence gets a higher qualitative taste. The turbot is also during this period eating a lot of anchovies that also affects its palate in a favorable way.
A very interesting and awarding thing by eating the whole turbot is that you can experience so many different flavors and textures of the fish. The friendly staff was very informative to help us get the most out of the fish.
For instance, the fillets from the white side (facing the sun) taste differently than the black side (which does not see the sun). You also need to use your hands to be able to suck the marvelous bones of the turbot.
But the best part is probable the fish’s head. Pick it up and begin pull it gently apart with your fingers to reveal its throat. Put it in your mouth and suck out its gelatin… The cheeks are also really delicious!
In summary: Elkano is without doubt one of the best seafood restaurants there is and I can without hesitation warmly recommend it!