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barca and the basque, prices of food and wine

hi new here just a bit of general info re wine prices as much as anything

we are visiting the following, general advise on any always appreciated

Roca moo- menus for food and wine both very set
Tickets- im thinking food and drink 200e for 2 could be reasonable… although I cant work out when its open in sept, failing that ill try bodega 1900
Sauc, food is a degustation, im thinking 30/40 euros for wine
Arzak, any idea on modest wine prices, or a wine flight?
Same applies for azurmendi
And ibai… whats the average cost there? I believe this can fluctuate based on produce- eels mainly? Do they have a wine list now? What can you get a decent wine for there?
Kokoxta, set menu
Andra mari, set menu
Any hints re wine at asador extebarri? Do they do a flight?

What sort of costs are wine flights in spain?
I believe wine is a good price in spain, we pay a silly mark up in the uk, im no expert though, as a rule at m* restaurants in uk and usa id pay between 30-50 euros, im led to believe similar astuff is nearer 20?

Also is there much of a tipping culture?

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  1. We've been to Azurmendi twice, most recently last Tuesday, and we'll dine at Ibai later today. So I can help with those two.

    There are a lot of wines at Azurmendi in the 20-30 euro range. The somm Jon William (there are 2 Jons) is part Brit and can help you pick something.

    First time, last Oct, we just asked him to pour something he thought would go with the next few courses and to keep 'em coming, and I think we had 5 or 6 wines in tasting sized pours for 50 euros each diner.

    The 2nd time we pointed to some white Burgundies and said we would normally drink something like those but could he suggest a Spanish equivalent, maybe something lightly oaked.

    He suggested a Chivite Colección 125 Blanco 2007, which we liked very much. This went well with the first 2/3's of the menu, then he went with a half-bottle of a good red Rioja, I think 2005 for 16 euros, for the meatier dishes. So for less than the pairings we had two pretty good wines, actually a bit more wine than we could finish.

    I'll post something later on Ibai.

    1. I was at Asador Extebarri last year and don't remember a wine pairing option. The list was reasonably priced but not cheap, thy did wine by the glass.

      Wine in restaurants in Spain is quite a bargain compared to the UK, the price quality ratio is definitely better so you get more for your euro. That said my advice is not to try to cut costs as cheap wine is still cheap wine and even in Spain can be poor. Instead use it as an opportunity to try better wines and do trust the sommelier - there are lots of Spanish wines that don't get out of Spain that are really good (from my experience I also think you are at the bottom of the list in the UK at £26 a bottle at M* places).

      On a technical point. I don't think you mean "wine flights" I suspect you mean the matched pairings with a different wine for each course. A wine flight is technically a number of glasses served simultaneously to enable a taster to do a comparative tasting e.g. five different Pinot Noirs, or 5 different vintages of the same wine.

      1. so perhaps the way to go is set a budget of say 60 euros per head and ask for the spanish wine to keep coming?

        2 Replies
        1. re: ajpickup

          60 euros wil buy a very good bottle of wine in all the Spanish restaurants we've visited ... which is not many, but 6 were M starred.

          1. re: willyum

            ah lovely, perhaps i can tone that down a little then, I was accounting for the cost of a pairing too

        2. Just finished dining at Ibai, by chance with fellow Chowhound misochi, whom we met at the entrance. Here are sample prices for food and wines.

          15 euros lobster, 28 € peas, 18 € mushrooms, 24 € clams/rice, 27 € squid ... these were starters.

          110 € sole split for four people.

          90 euros for drinks, bread ... Splits out as 19 euros bottle of cava, 60 € Chivite blanco (same wine we had at Azurmendi for 72 euros), 2 bottles water + bread. Lot of wines available in the 20 - 40 € range.

          370 € for four people + VAT. Cash only.

          8 Replies
          1. re: willyum

            With a price list ? So it's not a degustation? You simply pick a few things

            1. re: ajpickup

              They had a list of food items but you don't see the prices until you get the bill. Wines had prices marked. Some items had to be ordered by at least 2 or 3 people or they weren't available.

              Helps if you speak some Spanish.

            2. re: willyum

              does the wine list if there is one have prices now? I like wine enough to appreciate a decent bottle but after 50 euros is probably out of my remit

              1. re: ajpickup

                Yeah they have a short wine list, with everything from inexpensive wines to famous expensive ones.

                I think our dining companions had a bottle of cava for 19 euros but said they didn't like it. We had a bottle of good oaked Spanish Chardonnay (which we liked) for 60 euros that was priced at 72 euros at Azurmendi and 100 euros at Mugaritz (so good prices here at Ibai). Lot of options between, say, 20-30 euros.

                Hope you have a better experience than us. The food ranged from excellent (sole, squid) to just OK (peas, lobster etc) but the service was awful. It was pretty clear they didn't really want us there. I would go to Getaria instead (Elkano or Kaia Kaipe) for similar food in a much better atmosphere.

                One tip: it helps if everyone orders exactly the same courses. Otherwise there's a big fuss since some dishes can only be served for 4 or 3 or 2 people, limiting your options. For example they could do squid for one person but for lobster they required at least 3 people to order it or it wasn't available.

                Good luck!

                1. re: willyum

                  Do you speak Spanish ? I've heard that helps. So it's a case og just ordering a la carte ?

                  1. re: ajpickup

                    Hablo español como una vaca francesa ... enough to pass the CEFR A2 level and read it well, but not enough to understand spoken Spanish unless they really slow down and use short sentences. I take a notebook and ask them to write it out when I hit the wall, but they didn't want to bother with that.

                    >> So it's a case og just ordering a la carte ?

                    So you didn't understand what I wrote above? The paragraph starting "One tip: " is about as well as I can explain it ...

                    1. re: willyum

                      Yes, it made sense. I can get by. You are perhaps better than me. I'll have to do my best

            3. Arzak has plenty of bottles between 30 - 50 eurs. Also, has a decent list of half bottles if you choose to get a white and a red.