if you've been feeling festive lately and you can't put your finger on why, i'll help: it's Rioja Restaurant Week.
i've always been impressed with the marketing effort of spain's rioja wine region. they're subtle (mostly tastings, brochures, etc.) but they've done an effective job of creating this aura of the region being a sort of spanish sonoma county.
so a few years back, when i was in spain with this foolish woman who married me, we made sure to spend a few days touring the region. as it turns out, drinking the wine is far more enjoyable than touring the region, so we cut our trip short and used the extra time to discover one of the most fun cities i've ever visited - san sebastian (pictured above and a little to the left).
while discovering a new place wasn't the intent of the rioja marketing effort, i remain forever appreciative and thus will be celebrating rioja restaurant week.