For almost a century Nicolasa Restaurant has been the favorite in San Sebastian for the top international Society. It closed last October 2011 as Chef Juan Jose Castillo wanted to retire and could not find a good replacement.
Woody Allen, Richard Gere, Forges, Julian Schnabel and many others enjoyed its wonderful gastronomy and wrote a note in the restaurant’s book. Now, as the restaurant is closing, the owner is selling this book together with the silver of the restaurant, the paintings and the more than 400 bottles that the restaurant’s cellar still treasures some of them from the years 10 and 20 of the 20th century.
My grandmother’s family was the owner of the building where Nicolasa opened its doors in 1912. The uncle of my grandmother lived in the same building and they had a truly unique rental agreement. Instead of giving them a certain amount of money every month as rental, the agreement said he will be entitled to use the kitchen in Nicolasa as if it were the kitchen of his house and the same for the service. Thus, breakfast, lunch and dinner was served in his house by the waiters of Nicolasa. Everyone eating in his house (no matter number of guests) enjoyed the wonderful dishes served in the downstairs restaurant.
These were the old times… it is impossible to think of an agreement as such today. After Spain’s civil war this agreement ended up somehow but I remember well my grandmother and my father telling this story so to prove how much the world has changed and what was usual a century ago sounds truly unique now a days.