Bilbao Berria, the Spanish pintxos restaurant on Regent Street St James’s has a new look, a new menu and a new name. The newly reimagined Norte is a celebration of the art and food culture of Northern Spain, a region that has one of the world's highest concentrations of Michelin Stars.
The redesigned bar area will no longer be for nibbling on pintxos (traditionally done standing - the entire concept being one that director James Picton says is extremely popular in Spain but a bit befuddling on this side of the Channel). Instead, proper eating at the bar is encouraged, with a menu stripped back to the simplest elements of Basque cooking: grilled meat, fish and vegetables on a Spanish wood-fire grill.
As part of the overhaul, Norte flew in the Madrid-based street art duo Streets of Colour, who are originally also from Spain’s North, to create a series of murals on two storeys of the restaurant. The narrative is applied across non-consecutive panels and zooms and explore the cosmos, the earth and the culture of food and wine production in punchy hues and pleasing geometry.
The other exciting introduction is a multi-sensory tasting lab, a space where the lighting changes the room’s colour, wine is drunk from black glasses and scented smelling pots are passed around. The experience promises to explore the interdependencies between colour, taste and smell.
The overhaul of Norte is still in progress, but will most certainly be completed by Valentine's Day. Please enter the competition by 7 February. Full terms and conditions can be found here.