Gas­tro Bar by Martin Berasategui

Taste & Travel - - Contents - byM MICHELE PETER­SON

An ad­ven­ture in Basque cui­sine on Mex­ico's Baja Penin­sula. By MICHELE PETER­SON.

Even canned sar­dines are se­duc­tive at Gas­tro Bar by Martin Berasategui, the new­est res­tau­rant by the es­teemed Basque chef. Lo­cated within the el­e­gant new Par­adisus Los Ca­bos in San Jose del Cabo, the res­tau­rant of­fers cui­sine drawn from the chef's child­hood roots in San Se­bastián, Spain. Although fam­ily tra­di­tions in­flu­ence the con­cept of Gas­tro Bar, each dish fea­tures the sig­na­ture el­e­ments of ex­cite­ment, skilled tech­niques and ex­cep­tional in­gre­di­ents that are hall­marks of Chef Martin Berasategui's haute cui­sine.

The ninth Par­adisus by Melia prop­erty and the fourth in Mex­ico, the sprawl­ing Par­adisus Los Ca­bos prop­erty, cre­ated through a US $35 mil­lion-dol­lar trans­for­ma­tion of the for­mer Melia Cabo Real, fea­tures ex­pan­sive ocean views, prox­im­ity to Cabo Real Golf Course and one of the largest swimmable beaches on the Cabo Cor­ri­dor. For food fans, a high­light of the ren­o­va­tions is the launch of Gas­tro Bar by Martin Berasategui, a new ven­ture where adult guests can dine (for an added cost), on cui­sine by the Miche­lin-starred chef. In 2017, with the grant­ing of the third star to his Lasarte res­tau­rant and eight Miche­lin stars in to­tal, Martin Berasategui has gar­nered the most stars in the his­tory of the Span­ish edi­tion of the Miche­lin Guide. The con­cept of his new­est ven­ture is very dif­fer­ent from

lo­cated in Par­adisus Playa del Car­men La Perla and Par­adisus Re­sort Palma Real. Here at Gas­tro Bar by Martin

Berasategui the menu is more relaxed and fea­tures a se­lec­tion of small plates. Guests choose from the a la carte menu or opt for the tast­ing menu of ta­pas. Dishes such as the “snacks” be­gin at 69 MXN pe­sos (un­der $5 CAD dol­lars), and spe­cial wine pair­ings have been cre­ated ex­clu­sively for the res­tau­rant. My visit to Gas­tro Bar by Martin

Berasategui be­gins with a snack sim­ply ti­tled Cream of Sar­dines. It's served in a whim­si­cal dish shaped like a sar­dine can and comes topped with smoked salmon, ca­pers and mi­cro­greens. Lux­u­ri­ously creamy with hits of salt, smoke and sweet­ness, it is a so­phis­ti­cated treat that channels the essence of the tra­di­tional Span­ish con­serva or canned seafood.

Other mem­o­rable ta­pas in­clude ad­dic­tive crisps of Parme­san cheese, san­gria in­fused wa­ter­melon and creamy

por­rusalda, the tra­di­tional Basque soup. Larger ap­pe­tiz­ers in­clude a clas­sic Martin Berasategui ravi­oli stuffed with mush­rooms and Ibe­rian ham. Lo­callysourced fish from the Gulf of Cal­i­for­nia ap­pear in a stel­lar se­lec­tion of dishes such as grilled rocket and roasted to­taoaba with airy rice foam and bisque.

“We're for­tu­nate to have a wealth of in­gre­di­ents to choose from in Baja Cal­i­for­nia, ” says Ex­ec­u­tive Chef Thomas Quenet who is re­spon­si­ble for guest culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ences through­out the re­sort. “In ad­di­tion to seafood, we can choose from a wide range of or­ganic veg­eta­bles and herbs.”

Chef Quenet — who hails from Aquitaine, France and honed his culi­nary

The reimag­ined THIS PHOTO cui­sine at Martin Berasategui's new res­tau­rant com­ple­ments the con­tem­po­rary de­sign of Par­adisus Los Ca­bos.

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