I’m hurtling toward 30 which is, canonically, the perfect age for a woman. For the last two years, I’ve mostly forgotten about my birthday, marking the occasion quietly with porch sushi and/or a marathon screening of Sharknado 2: The Second One. But yesterday, I was reminded of the rapid denouement of my 20s when a TikToker sassily informed me that they were born in 2006. I then entered a fugue state until my boyfriend found me facing the wall, muttering “Old. Birthday. Birthday. Old. 2006. 30s. Coming.”
Ah, well. I’ll be 30 before I know it, so I might as well do it up big.
That’s how I started thinking of the perfect 30th birthday meal. It should be something luxurious, I decided—a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience with which to usher in my hottest decade yet. But not stuffy—never stuffy. Eventually, I landed on Asador Etxebarri in Atxondo, Spain. Rustic, time-tested, and enough to bring one Bon Appétit staffer to tears, Etxebarri is a sought-after dining experience in the gorgeous foothills of Spain’s Basque region.
Who knows if I’ll actually make it there for my 30th. Full disclosure, I’ve got two years to go, and a lot can happen in two years. I could change my mind and decide to host the celebration at a Portillo’s. I could become clinically obsessed with a rural fish hut in Greece and go there instead. And though I do speak passable Spanish, I don’t speak Euskara, the mysterious language spoken in Spain’s Basque region. That could complicate matters.
Either way, it’s fun to dream about fantasy food destinations. It gives you something to aspire to; a built-in celebration in every bite. When you finally sit down at that table, you’ll know you’ve made it. With that, I gotta ask: What’s your fantasy food destination?