Local restaurants serve up fine cuisine, hot deals

1: In Spain, doing business means having lunch. If not, it probably means having dinner. For big deals, join the gourmands at restaurant Arzak, says Imagina’s Beatriz Setuain.

2: Arzak’s not the only act in town. For meeting with serious players: the classic Nicolasa, run by genial Jose Juan Castillo, or try Pedro Subijana’s menu degustacion at Aquelarre.

3: Or go native, says Tomas Cimadevilla, eating Old Quarter pinchos. Or try wonderful seafood served on trestle tables beside fishing boats in the Old Port.

4: Network. Once in town, stroll over to the grand dame of San Sebastian hotels, the sumptuous Maria Cristina. “Just stand there and look like you need company,” advises Fortissimo’s Nicole Mackey.

5: Pop by the Kursaal Sales Office, Funny Balloons’ Peter Danner recommends. It has a great industry guide, videotheque, happy hours and a solicitous staff.

6: Catch a swarming San Sebastian press conference. They’re unusually well-controlled and surprisingly lengthy. In 2002, Francis Ford Coppola talked for so long the sun rolled across the sky, babies were born and continents formed by the end.

7: Don’t depart without visiting the Teatro Victoria Eugenia. Attending any screening in this beautifully restored Belle Epoque theater is an experience, and seeing the interior alone is worth the ticket.

8: Match the Devil. It’s said his Satanic Majesty studied Basque for seven years but only learned three words. So: “Goodbye” is “agur,” which also means “hello” and not “bai,” which means “yes,” though “ez,” which sounds like “yes,” means “no.” Sympathy for the Devil?

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