Restaurant Futurist | Spanish chef Aitor Elizegui

FoodandWine Recipe

In Spain, avant-garde cuisine is becoming more common than dangling jamones at a tapas bar. But even against this progressive foodscape, Aitor Elizegui stands out. Having gained a following at Gaminiz in the Basque village of Plentzia, Elizegui recently moved the restaurant to the Bilbao suburb of Zamudio. His off-the-wall degustation menus may include such items as spaghetti alla carbonara reinvented as translucent strands of squid with oat-bran foam and bacon, or onion ice cream with potato foam, caviar, seaweed tempura and pig's skin. Even Juanola, a menthol cough drop, finds its way into Elizegui's kitchen. But order ahead if you want to sample his latest inventions: The regular menu, designed to keep more timid diners from fleeing, offers comparatively tame dishes, like chicken with licorice foam (212 Parque Tecnológico de Zamudio; 011-34-94-431-7025).

PUBLISHED December 2002