La Cuchara de San Telmo (‘la cuchara’ means ‘the spoon’ – The Spoon of San Telmo) is located right next to the San Telmo Museum in San Sebastian. This pintxos bar is run by the same owners of Borda Berri. That in itself says A LOT!
My first time at La Cuchara de San Telmo was a mere month ago. Silly me had left my camera in the car then, but this time around I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again!
Unlike Borda Berri where the only option is to eat standing by the bar (there are a couple of stools available for the early birds), La Cuchara de San Telmo has an outdoor terrace with four tables and each table can seat about 5-6 people. The tables are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you prefer to dive into the craziness of ordering your pintxos, then you can head right into the bar area inside.
Luckily on both occasions, I’ve managed to score a table outside. It makes for a more relaxing dining experience plus you could end up sharing your table with some interesting strangers that work for the UN — Hi, Mr and Mrs Noel! ????
The menu (which also comes in English) is switched up every season, but some of the classics like the veal cheeks in red wine sauce seem to have a permanent place on the menu. And rightfully so! We didn’t order the veal cheeks this time since we had a heavy breakfast, but don’t skip out on it if you’re visiting from out of town! Tender, meaty goodness, I tell ya!
Similar to Borda Berri, there are no traditional skewered pintxos readily laid out on the bar at La Cuchara de San Telmo. Everything here is made to order and you can choose your serving size: small, medium or large.
So what delicious pintxos did we stuff our bellies with? ????
Firstly, the ravioli stuffed with duck confit and beltza mushrooms. In June, we had ordered the lacquered cannelloni with the same filling and it was just as good in a ravioli this time!
I love me some blood sausage and there was no way I’d be going without the Spanish blood sausage, morcilla after I had it the first time! The morcilla here is TO-DIE-FOR. Get it. Don’t hesitate. This beautiful thing is served with caramelized pears in between Sardinian flatbread. So, sooooo gooood.
Something new we had ordered this time was the slow-roasted suckling pig of Salamanca with membrillo (quince paste) and vanilla. The skin was perfectly crisp and the meat, moist and fatty. What more can you ask for? ????
We also ordered the traditional ajoblanco with grilled razor clams and sliced fruit. Originally adopted from the Moors, Ajo blanco (white garlic) is an Andalusian chilled summer soup that is made of almonds, bread, olive oil, garlic, and sherry vinegar. For the life of me, I cannot put a finger on what the sliced fruit was exactly… I want to say nectarine. Whatever it was, it went swimmingly well with the soup!
Since most of our pintxos were quite meat heavy, I decided to get a small salad dish. Our “small” salad ended up being pretty copious: lettuce, creamy lentils, marinated vegetables, and a base of eggplant tapenade. Honestly, I wasn’t a big fan of this salad dish. The vegetables weren’t really flavourful, but the eggplant tapenade was good.
Lastly, dessert! Like my first time here, there was only one dessert on the menu. Sorry chocolate and cake lovers, all there is here is cheeeeeeese. Bloody good cheese, I might add! Requesón cheese bathed in a light, liquidy maple syrup and garnished with edible flowers. Before coming to La Cuchara de San Telmo, I was clueless about what Requesón cheese was. This lumpy cheese originates from Latin America and is loved from Mexico to Portugal and apparently here in San Sebastian too! Similar to ricotta, it is light but salty. The slight saltiness of Requesón cheese kicks in towards the end, which goes exquisitely well with the maple syrup. Who would have thought that cheese could go hand in hand with maple syrup? Geniuses, I say!
The menu here is small and focused; they know what they’re doing at La Cuchara de San Telmo. Get there early to find yourself a table outside AND to avoid missing out on popular pintxo dishes, otherwise they sell out like hot cakes (looking at you seared red tuna with mashed avocado and puffed rice!! I’ve been here twice and I still haven’t been able to eat this ????)!
May The Pinchables Be With You,
Location: 31 de Agosto Kalea, 28, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Hours: Closed on Mondays
Tuesday to Sunday // 12:30pm – 3:30pm // 7:30pm – 11:30pm
- Get there early to save yourself a spot outside if you dislike crowded areas. The inside bar area can get really packed and hot.
- Don’t get there too late or you might miss out on their popular pintxo dishes that sell out quickly.
- They take cash and card payments.