"There is no way any of us could ever make this," one of my dining companions, an avid home cook, said in awe and respect on my last visit to Huertas, as we tucked into one of the best trout that has ever swum my way. In this case, it had been baked encrusted in salt and was accompanied by three different sauces. We had already oohed and aahed over a mound of shoestring potatoes that had been cooked for just 7 seconds (according to the waiter) so that it resembled pasta, and then tossed with the most fabulous chorizo sausage and sauce. We laughed aloud when some of our food came accompanied by an extra beverage that acted as Astaire to the Ginger Rogers on the plate: eating boquerones (marinated sardines) and olives accompanied by the perfect sherry is a privilege, as is having house smoked salmon washed down with just the right sour beer. All of this ambrosial grub comes from the Basque region of Spain and it’s served by a staff who are expert in hospitality (many are alums of Mailano); they make guests feel like they’re not just out to dinner, but have stumbled into an exclusive dinner party. Sorry to gush, but my husband and I love this place so much, we’ve given out certificates for a meal as gifts to friends and colleagues.
- Pauline Frommer