For those readers who know Pamplona‘s old town, it’s easy to spot the changes that have given the Navarran capital a modern makeover over the past 10 years or so. This conservative, traditional city has seen a wave of new shops and restaurants, many of which are run by local young people in the face of the ongoing financial crisis, and brought a breath of fresh air to the town centre.
The pincho menu is fresh and modern, and the interior elegant with plenty of places to sit – a good option if you want to avoid the crowds and find a table to eat on the Calle Estafeta, one of the highlights on the route of the running of the bulls (known in Spanish as the encierro). The downside to all this? You pay for the pleasure – prices are higher than other bars in the local area, but we’ll let you decide if it’s worth it.
As you can see from the menu (below), most of the pinchos are priced around the €3 mark. Many are made on the spot, and tend to be quite complicated little works of art, all told. If you’re feeling properly hungry, there is also a Menu del Dia for €11 (Monday to Friday only. Sorry, Weekend, no menu del dia for you).
We decided to order two pinchos each – one traditional and one made fresh. We were bowled over by the first: an eggshell filled with mushroom, foie, potatoes and truffle essence. The second was a sardine tartar, perfectly palatable but not as impressive as the first. The fact that the pinchos aren’t laid out on the bar as they are in many traditional restaurants added to the mystery of what exactly was going to arrive at the table.
- 1 smoked sardine tartar €2.90
- 2 Egg, mushroom, foie and potato with truffle oil €2.80 (x2)
- 2 mostos €3
- 1 small beer €1.50
- Total: €13
Address: La cocina de Alex MúgicaCalle Estafeta, 24, 31001 Pamplona
Tel: +34 948 51 01 25