At last, on Monday I settled my debt with my neighbours over the way. I’d been wanting to go to the MEATing restaurant (Villalar, 4), right opposite dASSA bASSA, for ages. Since they opened, I’m always bumping into Vicente Lorente, the restaurant’s owner and key figure. He’s a great guy, originally from the art world, and this is reflected on the walls in MEATing, which display part of his collection.
The predominantly white décor is very attractive and tables are set for two and four people. As soon as you start chatting with Vicente, who is from the north, you realize he had a crystal clear idea of what he wanted to achieve before embarking on his big project, his restaurant, his own eatery. Here, the product is the main player, with everything directly sourced from the San Sebastián markets and no intermediaries. During my visit I tucked into a salad with Monte Igueldo tomatoes, which took me back in time to 1998 when I worked at Akelarre with Pedro Subijana and could see the Igueldo tomato fields from the window of my house. Vicente’s belief in the product is so great that when he came to set up the restaurant in Calle Villalar, he presented me with a small bag of fresh peas as a visiting card. Oh goodness, they were delicious… it was then I realized that he believes in what he does.
Besides being a great place to meet up with friends, MEATing’s specialty is meat (as the name suggests), excellent quality beef from cows reared in Galicia. I let myself be guided and they suggested steak tartare; it was lovely but I couldn’t take my eyes off my companion’s beef cheeks. I promised to go back and order them. For dessert I treated myself to the chocolate mousse, a deliciously sweet way of rounding off the meal. We felt relaxed and unhurried, just like at home, and enjoyed a nice chat round the table before taking a stroll round my beloved El Retiro Park. MEATing is closed on Sundays and Monday evenings.