Ezcaray is a small mountain town in the Spanish wine region of La Rioja. Although there are many vineyards and cellars close to the town, Ezcaray is actually better known as a ski town and it is especially known for its wool blankets serving world renowned brands such as Loewe. Honestly, this is a food blog but I must rave about their cashmere and mohair blankets which are a dream to roll up with on a cold winter’s day.
Right next to the church Santa María La Mayor, pretty much in the center of the historic town you will find, Echaurren, which dates back to the late nineteenth century when Pedro Echaurren and Andrea García started their business and gradually it has become a part of La Rioja’s gastronomic history and this is partly thanks to Marisa Sánchez who has very skillfully, since 1957, alongside her husband, Felix Paniego, managed to make her restaurant Tradición a must-go-to place in the region. Her croquetas are legendary and according to many, are considered the best in Spain. I am not going to argue if they are or are not the best but I will say that they are exceptionally good with a very creamy interior.
Another appetizer is the goat cheese terrine with Ezcaray honey oil and sesame
Marisa’s cuisine is rich with flavor being an authentic home style comfort food which isn’t easy to come upon. Her stews with beans such as callos are unbeatable. You can just imagine yourself eating aways after a day in the snow.
Home cooking also includes fish such as hake which is slow cooked at 45ºC over grilled peppers and rice soup
and meat which in this case is grandma’s meatball over potato and truffle parmentier.
The dessert is quite creative and delicious: warm toast with Cameros cheese, apple and honey ice-cream. The region is known for producing honey and if you are a honey fan, there are many places where you can get your hands on a nice jar.
Echaurren today consists of a hotel which will be a Relais & Chateaux next year in 2015, the restaurant Tradicion, El Portal (next post), Bistro Comilón and a Gastrobar. I would especially like to recommend a great offer that they have now which is Gourmet Weekend. Depending on the room 3 stars – 225 euros per person, 4 stars – 300 euros per person or suite 350 euros per person and this includes: two nights, a tasting menu for dinner at the two-star Michelin El Portal, tierra menu for lunch at Tradición, dinner at the Gastrobar (no drinks included in any of the meals) buffet breakfast both days and a late check-out on Sunday. Can you ask for more?
19 Padre José García Ezcaray – La Rioja
Telephone: 941 354 047