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Restaurante Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao

2 Avenida Abandoibarra
Tel: 34 94 423 9333's insider take:

The food at the Guggenheim's restaurant rivals the art on its gallery walls. Josean Martínez Alija, who took over the kitchen in 2000 at the ripe old age of 22, has created a menu here that's ethereal, aromatic, and playful. His gelatin-rich kokotxas (hake cheeks), served with lemongrass-potato confit, are dressed with an otherworldly-looking pale-blue sauce flavored with shiso and lemon balm. Even humble ingredients get the royal treatment—like organic chicken cooked sous vide and infused with smoke, rosemary, and lime. Put yourself in this brilliant chef's hands: Order the six- or seven-course tasting menu and prepare to be dazzled.

Closed Mondays. Lunch only, Sundays and Tuesdays.

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