Alphy’s Basque Chateau is the fourth Alphy’s facility in the Five Cities opened by chef Doug Simpson, and the culmination of a long-term vision for a high-quality, European-themed restaurant which appeals both to aficianados of fine dining and those who love the family-style approach that is a Basque tradition. Featuring authentic Basque dishes, family-style service, a full bar with special bar menu, and menu items for children under 12, Alphy’s Basque Chateau opened in April of 2012.
Opening the Basque Chateau has involved a great deal of research into Basque culture, traditional recipes and cooking styles, and recipes from famous Basque chefs. Chef Simpson said that developing a menu which will appeal to a wide range of people was time-consuming, but not limiting.
“Basque cuisine has so many influences: French and Spanish, mountain and coastal, that the variety of foods and styles appeals to almost anyone,” Doug said. “We have been sure to accommodate those with vegetarian preferences, too.”
In keeping with Basque restaurant traditions, all entrees are served family style with fresh bread, Basque soup, salad, beans and Spanish salsa, pickled marinated beef tongue, fresh vegetables, potatoes, and pasta with house-made Spanish sauce. Meals also include a scoop of Doc Burnstein’s Alphy’s blend vanilla bean ice cream or Basque red wine sorbet.
Entrees range from lamb (roasted rack of lamb, grilled lamb chops, braised lamb shanks), to steak (filet mignon, ribeye), roasted chicken, 16-ounce French-cut pork chop, shrimp in 3 varieties (scampi, skewered, and spicy garlic), scallops Provencal, and seasonally fresh fish.
The bar features a collection of Basque favorites, starting with pintxos (skewers of carmelized onion, Idiaz’abal cheese, deviled egg, and shrimp), bocadillos (small sandwich) of lamb chop or seared tuna, montaditos (bites on toast) of seared beef with piquillo sauce and shallot jam, or potato and chorizo bandade, and fritos (fried bites) of crispy shrimp presente d’espelette, calamari, or fish and chips. Finish your bar tasting experience with The Fig, local figs marinated in sherry and served with aged goat cheese and fresh basil.
The Basque Country occupies an area in and around the Pyrenees Mountains on the border between France and Spain. Coastal areas are included, from Biarritz and the Bay of Biscay in France to the Mediterranean in Spain, so seafood is as much a part of Basque traditions as lamb and beef. The Basque language is unique, being related to no known European language, and may have developed from the first Stone Age migrants to the area, according to some experts.
Alphy’s Basque Chateau is open 7 days a week: Monday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 2 p.m. to midnight; Saturday 11:30 a.m. to midnight, and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. 1527 Shell Beach Rd., Shell Beach 93449. Phone: 805-773-6280. Fax: 805-773-6285.