Get a Taste of Basque Country at Piripi

The much-anticipated Piripi has finally opened its doors in Coral Gables and we stopped by to check it out. The restaurant is the brain child of Moroccan-Basque chef Najat Kaanache who has honed her skills at some of the world’s top restaurants like El Bulli, Noma, French Laundry, Per Se and Alinea.

The menu like any good Spanish restaurant is divided into several sections with plenty of shareable plates. The house-cured meat board is a perfect starter to the meal that’s filled with fresh cheeses and interesting hams. For the smaller, appetizer-sized plates the Andalusian Gazpacho with sweet and sour watermelon and spicy garlic, the Hobbitt on the Shire salad made with petite vegetable ribbons and avocado mouse and the Fideos de Jamon with caldo “noodles,” poached eggs and saffron were standouts. If you’re a fan of the classic Spanish tortilla española, make sure to check out Piripi’s take on it, Tortilla de Hadda, which is made “grandma” style and one of the best variations of the dish that we’ve had.

Heartier plates included the paella which comes with a variety of mix-ins from the traditional shrimp to the more unique wild rabbit and is served tableside in the dish it was cooked in. We also got to try the seared wild colossal shrimp served with sliced garlic and the basque cod prepped in a garlic sauce. Don’t forget to order some side dishes with your entrees, the wild mushrooms were a favorite of the table and even converted some mushroom haters.

The drinks are also not to be missed. The bar features plenty of gin cocktails (with glasses chilled to order using liquid nitrogen) with an emphasis on simple-high quality ingredients with the stand out being the classic Gin and Tonic, which comes in five different varieties, and the daily sangrias which we really enjoyed. If you’re a wine lover, make sure to get your meal expertly paired by the restaurant’s knowledgable beverage director Matt Reiser, who has curated the 100-bottle wine list to feature wines locally and globally with half of the list being priced under $60.

Each dish was a work of art in itself, served on custom-made plates from the same guy who made some of the flatware for el Bulli. Check them out for yourself in the pictures below.

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