Casa Rufo in Bilbao
Beginning in 1955, the brilliant Rufo Perez sold in his grocery store on Hurtado Amezaga Street salt-preserved meats and fish, wine, salted cod…up until he transformed this delicious back-room into a small restaurant where his son Jose Luis and his team continue serving the specialities you see on the crammed bookshelves.
The menú at Casa Rufo is succinct: few plates and almost all of them concisely presented. Here, they value quality products over fancy production. They look for the products natural and inherent flavor.
In a cozy, home environment, where the grocery store and restaurant coexist harmoniously, we can begin with the delicious appetizers: quality smoke-cured delicacies, Keia salmon tacos, their Cantabrian bonito fillets are esteemed for their sophistication, and when they are served, they are eaten with bread and dipped, lightly peppered and smooth.
At Casa Rufo the egg croquettes are superb, as are the salted anchovies or the fish-belly salad, and so are the stupendous fried Lezama peppers or the salted mushrooms.
For a main dish, the cod kokotxas, fried hake, beef tail, sirloin, or the specialty of the house: an impressive grilled chop with a generous serving of fried potatoes.
For dessert, the house custard, flan, petit fours, cheesecake, rolled butter cookies “cigarrillos de Tolosa,” a Basque cream pudding “goxua”, or homemade yogurt.