A Fuego Negro is as much a triumph of Marketing, Branding and Design as it is of culinary delights. It has become the reference point as the future of innovative Basque miniature cuisine through bold interior design, innovative marketing and attention grabbing food. And this is no bad thing. They have created a unique experience in donosti’s old part.Sometimes you need someone to shake things up a little, show a new way of doing things and if you can have a laugh doing it all the better.
One of the elements that really makes A Fuego Negro stand out is the sense of fun they have incorporated into everything they do. The décor of the bar is an extension of their playful, innovative cuisine. Blacks and reds predominate throughout making the place feel more like a cocktail than a pintxo bar. The scribbling on the enormous blackboard behind the bar looks more like a master plan to rob a bank than a menu. You can do your own menu on the blackboard in the bogs too! Or write whatever else takes your fancy.
And there´s nothing as “boring” as a pincho or tapa to be had here. Instead you can choose from “little things”, shots, glasses, little salads, plates. And a truly great wine list. This is pub food at its most innovative. So I’ve had bits and bobs before. But when some friends came to visit, it seemed like a good opportunity to try the tasting menu. Or to be more precise, the SUPER tasting menu. 11 pintxos, thingies, desserts, shots, drops and whatever else they brought my way. Bring it on!
So is this the first one? Or is this just a wee gift from the chef? We´re left doubting until the waitress confirms it´s all over at the end of the meal, and we count 11. Ok, fairly gentle start, gotta take things easy, there are still 10 to go.
(Ball of Salmorejo)
There you go. Wow. Plays with your expectations and instead of soup you get a wee red golf ball. And that´s before you plop it in your mouth and let it explode. So many things going on here. Textures, tastes. Is that white chocolate in the soup? The tasting menu starts here.
Oaaaah, and err, What? Who says ice cream can’t come at the beginning of a meal? A pintxo that is exactly what it says on the tin that’s not going to leave anyone indifferent. How do I eat it? Left to right? All mixed together? They really need to give some kind of instruction here.
With pork scratching on the top! See, pub grub. Another classic, tastes and texture explosion.
I must admit this probably adds balance to the menu, always must have your greens after all, but I would have changed this for the mini kobi burger which never turns up, or the dove shot! Still want to find out what that is.
Another classic, truly surprising tastes. And cold, oddly, but that just makes it work. Excellent combination of juicy beef, with tang of mustard and meringue.
Rice perfectly cooked and perfectly spiced. Great little dish.
Flavours perfectly mixed and a cod cooked to absolute perfection. And presented with style and charm. A classic!
Wild porc, vanilla and lemon
They are just coming thick and fast now. One delight after another, each one unique, each one surprising, a delight for the eyes before a delight for the tongue.
Beetroot, salty yoghourt, with vinegar reduction.
No it’s not a cherry!
A real surprise when they give you this. And it’s not just a gimmick, the chocolate is exceptional. Great way to finish the meal.
2 Bottles of Red: Bai Gorri, Rioja. 1 bottle: Liberalia Cero, Toro.
Orujo: Gota a Gota. Without doubt the best orujo I have ever tasted.
To sum up: Surprising. Playful. Eclectic. How many ways to describe a unique experience? A Fuego Negro has raised the bar for pintxos. And the Super Tasting Menu is a great way to experience much of what they offer in a night. Without getting sore feet at the bar.
Price with coffee and orujo: 55€ per head.
Abuztuaren 31-Ko Kalea, 31. Donostia-San Sebastian. (0034) 650 13 53 73. firstname.lastname@example.org