$45 TXOTX TICKET- Basque Cider & Steak Dinner, Dec 10th
The story behind:
Many European regions have seen their indigenous drinking culture coopted by the United States – some more successfully than others. For instance, plenty of bars have tried dubbing themselves “German beer halls” simply by serving brews in one-liter steins. Yet there is a drinking practice unlike any in the States: the cider houses of Basque Country known as “sagardotegis” (Basque for cider house). If you love cider – or just love drinking, eating and revelry in general – put a stop at a proper Basque cider house on your bucket list, OR just sign up for this dinner at Francisca's where we will do everything in our power to re create this experience!
Needless to say, at a sagardotegi, cider is king – and the fermented beverage flows freely… literally. Unlike a tap house where patrons line up behind a bar awaiting their next pour, here, cider is served out of giant fermenting barrels nearly as high as the ceiling, often times right in the cidery’s cellar. And forget any sort of orderly pouring system: Once the spigot has been opened, sidra shoots out in a long, half-rainbow-shaped stream towards the ground. Patrons interested in a tipple simply hold out their glasses and collect a few fingers worth. And hopefully another thirsty drinker has lined his glass up right behind yours – otherwise when you move, the free flowing cider will hit the floor, running past your feet and down the drain. Though a bit of waste is just part of the “txotx” (pronounced “tchotch”) – a flexibly used local word that in a single syllable sums up the entire experience.
Such a loose drinking ritual deserves to be paired with an equally flexible meal, and most sagardotegi serve up a very similar spin on the same traditional meal. Light snack and bread, followed by bone-in ribeye steak served intensely raw.
We will work to replicate as much of this as possible with light snacks, bread, olives and of course LOTS of steak and cider! If you want to be inspired, check out this video about the real deal!