Euzkadi

 I have been wanting to try Basque cuisine since I read The Food of a Younger Land by Mark Kurlansky.  Basque country is in northern Spain and  southwestern France in the western part of the Pyrenees.  The Basque language, Euskara, is the last pre-Indo-European language in Western Europe and is still spoken today.  I’ve been reading about how Basques are foodies and historically had food clubs that, until recently, were exclusive to men.  In the U.S., Basques settled predominantly in Idaho and Nevada and worked in mining and as shepherds. 
 

Recently, I purchased a Groupon to dine at Euzkadi, a Basque restaurant in the East Village on E. 4th Street.  The red, green and white Euzkadi (the name for Basque country) flags fly over the bar at this comfortably rustic spot.  The menu has Spanish-style tapas along with entrees.  We decided we’d pick on a few small plates.  First, the Bomba de Queso de Cabra, goat cheese and honey croquettes:

Goat cheese and honey croquettes

These were lightly-breaded bites of heaven.  I’m not usually a fan of goat cheese, but this one was creamy and delicious and blended so well with the honey.  I wanted a double serving.  We also tried the Albondigas de Pato, Roasted duck meatballs in a sofrito duck demi-glace sauce:

Duck meatballs

The duck meatballs were excellent, very flavorful.  Again, I wanted my own serving.  We also got Tabla de Quesos: An assortment of Spanish cheeses served w/fruit and marcona almonds.  I forgot to take a picture, but the cheeses included manchego and mahon as well as a few others whose names I can ‘t remember.  Our final dish was Piquillo con Tartara de Atun, Piquillo peppers stuffed with spicy tuna tartar:

Spicy tuna peppers

These were delicious as well, and again, I don’t usually like peppers but gobbled up every bit of this dish.

After this meal, I want to book a trip to Bilbao or San Sebastian and see what culinary delights Basque country has to offer.

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