Now Open in Old Town: Iruña

Chef Aaron May is once again bringing Spanish cuisine to the local dining mix, this time with Basque influences.

His new spot, Iruña, just opened to the public on Tuesday, in the Old Town Scottsdale space that was the longtime home to Pischke's Paradise (7217 E. 1st St., 480-398-3020). May and his business partner, Quinn Goldsberry, remodeled much of the restaurant themselves.



Named after the Basque word for the Spanish city of Pamplona, Iruña serves a menu of various small plates, half a dozen vegetable side dishes, and several desserts. On the cold list ($4-17), there's gazpacho, tortilla espanola (egg and potato with herbs), a shaved cerery, radish, and arugula salad with creamy orange and goat cheese dressing, pulpo a la Gallega (marinated baby octopus with pearl onions, roasted peppers, and olives in spicy smoked paprika escabeche), and other light dishes.

Hot plates ($8-32) include chistorra envolver (air-cured Spanish chorizo "in a blanket"), chicken meatballs with truffle jus, lamb with mustard and mint, whole lobster with sauteed white corn and crispy serrano, and lomo con romesco (marinated pork loin with pickled red onion and romesco sauce).

Among six desserts, there's a cheese plate, chocolate cake with apricot compote, and a confection called Sol y Sombra (the name of May's now-defunct upscale Spanish eatery) that combines chocolate pudding cake with crema Catalana and a burnt sugar crust.

The restaurant will be closed this coming Monday for Memorial Day, but will otherwise be open seven days a week, from 5 to 10 p.m.

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