Aramburu was a medium sized modern looking place that had been in this location just 3 weeks when we ate there. The bare tables are of stone or wood and accompanied by different chairs. The large open kitchen takes up one long side of the room which is opposite windows, to the alley/street, that were covered with blinds. The painted walls are topped with a brick ceiling and hanging light fixtures. The light fixtures are minimal as the place is fairly dark. It has a casual feel but you have to ring the bell to get inside. There are just 12 tables and some music plays in the background. The staff were super friendly and welcoming and spoke great English. They serve only a tasting menu and wine pairings are available. There is no printed version of the menu handed out, however they volunteer to email it and they actually did. Pacing started out quite rapid but then allowed more time between courses and portion control was good. We ordered our own wines from the recommendations by the excellent sommelier.
While we looked over the wine list they brought some onion and mushroom soup and pepper and potato chips. Both were nicely flavored. The chips were cut in a leaf pattern and ultra thin. They were presented in a box of branches that remained on the table as a decorative touch throughout the meal.
A grouping of snacks was next. Pumpkin cannoli was a thin crisp outside with a creamy pumpkin center. It was delicious. Scallop bits were well seasoned with a creamy center in a yummy bite. Avocado, kale and apple were on a very light crisp bottom. The kale was a tad tart but it was overall nice. Nut cheese was with beetroot and seeds in a cracker. It was a more mildly flavored bite, but a nice mix of ingredients.
Bread service was slices of sourdough with smoked butter seasoned with cumin. The bread was doughy with a good crisp crust. The salted butter definitely had cumin in it.
Carrot tartar was covered with black quinoa and presented on a faux bone (it even had a darkened marrow bit). The soft raw carrot was well contrasted with the crispy quinoa that had been toasted. It was served cool and although mild in flavor it was great in textures.
A fresh oyster was combined with coconut milk, ginger and lime granita. It was spicy and a nice combination of flavors. The great oysters went well with the citrus flavor and the coconut was quite good.
Smoked fennel, almonds and amaranth were with a sesame cracker. The fennel was tender and well cooked. The dish had some spice in the background and was overall good with fun textural contrasts.
A salad was a mix of baby squid, beet, radish, radicchio and yogurt. It was another good combination of flavors and textures and the sweet beet crisps were a taste that blended equally well with white or red wine.
Fish, chicory and parsley were made with sea breem. The dish was presented room temperature with slightly tough haricot verts (green beans). The fish was totally moist and tender but not highly seasoned. Although it was not the most flavor intense dish, it was was good.
Quail was plated with cauliflower and leek. The leek was in crisp chip form and really flavorful and good. The quail meat was pink and tasty but I could have used a better knife. The cauliflower was on the side in a tasty purée. It was a plate packed with wonderful flavors and textures. This one was great.
Beef sirloin was plated with Jerusalem artichoke and pine mushrooms. The Jerusalem artichoke was made into a sabayon like sauce and the mushroom was pickled. The steak was cooked nicely rare and fairly tender. Some additional jus provided even more moisture for the beef. It was a good plate of food with a nice amount of flavor.
Citrus and torrontes were frozen and placed in an orange or small grapefruit rind. Some sauvignon blanc was mixed in with the orange and a fruit jelly. It was tasty.
Popcorn, salt and phyllo pastry made up the first dessert. The popcorn was sprinkled on a semifreddo and packed between 2 sheets of phyllo pastry. It was a really fun and tasty dessert. I loved the contrast of the crisp and creamy especially since both parts were really tasty.
Rosemary ice cream was paired with dulce de leche for the next dessert. The dulce de leche was in a little moist cake under a crispy thin topper and filled with gooey caramel. The rosemary was strong in the ice cream but went well with the sweet cake. Another good blending of strong flavors and textures. Some crumbs under the ice cream added one final component of crisp texture. A good sweet finish.
Final parting treats were a sugary gel made with quince and a fudge-like piece of dulce de leche. Both were nice.