A Legendary Bone-in Ribeye Steak

The leading national grill house, passed down through three generations, specialising in grilled bone-in ribeye steak. Forerunners in concept and technique, we pay great attention to detail when selecting our product in the quest for excellence. Thorough trimming of the raw meat, the perfect grill temperature and presentation are the trademarks of this family business, a reference among the most demanding palates thanks to serving only the finest produce and our impeccable command of the charcoal grill.

Three generations

In 1950 Nicolás Ruiz ran a small bar called ‘Montetxe’ in the Larramendi neighbourhood, where he would serve wine in earthenware jugs. Initially making simple pintxos and plates, the regulars soon started asking him to serve meals at a table, complete with a paper tablecloth.

As a result, in 1960 Nicolás and his wife Pepita Elizondo moved to their current location, next to the ancient walls surrounding the town. The baton was later taken up by their son Pedro Ruiz and their grandson, Xabier, cooking at the grill constructed by blacksmiths traditionally linked to shipbuilding in Pasajes de San Juan.

Excellent Product and Technique

Xabi, the third generation, is dynamic in his approach, having taken over from his father to run this temple of meat, where the marbled bone-in ribeye, with its high fat infiltration, is brought up to room temperature for hours and trimmed to the maximum before cooking. The outside fat is removed and the bone shortened, enabling us to serve it as purely as possible. Grilling the meat and scrupulously selecting the ribeye simply by looking at it runs in his blood, a skill instilled since childhood. At the age of 39 he took over the business, renovated in 2012, drawing on the experience and knowhow inherited from the pioneers, his grandfather and his father. “Ideally the meat should be allowed to mature for 30 to 40 days for optimum tenderness and served rare to enhance its succulence and flavour”. For the experts, the Bone-in Ribeye served at the Nicolás is unrivalled in its quality and preparation. 

Nothing is wasted

At Asador Nicolás we go by the rules; this said, Xabi has added new dishes to the menu, endeavouring to make the most of the meat trimmed from the ribeye, using it to make broth, croquettes, carpaccio and steak tartar.

The difference lies in the choice of meat, and if the butchers don’t get it right, that day the restaurant keeps its doors closed. Pedro Ruiz chooses the pieces on sight, something his son Xabi has learned to perfection, having inherited the ability to recognise the best beef with nothing but his eyes. 

Some 45-50% of the piece is lost during the meticulous trimming process, one of the eatery’s identifying features. The more fat it has, the more it drips and stokes the flames, and that’s bad for the meat.

Here we breathe tradition.  We even continue to use paper tablecloths as they did all those years ago, when paper mills were ubiquitous in the town, while maintaining the legacy of the countless business men who would jot down notes and agreements on the paper-covered tables over lunch and dinner.

Our cellar

Wine is another sector closely related to the paper mills (boxes, labels), and plays a hugely important part at Casa Nicolás, which has two cellars, one behind glass on view to diners, and another underground with a low ceiling, containing classic vintages alongside those of more modern production, constantly updated, given Xabi’s love of wine and excellent knowledge of the market, as one would expect.

Foodie Culture

Tolosa, a culinary destination famous for its charcoal grilling and bone-in ribeye steaks, has its origins in the paper industry and the artisan blacksmiths who made the town a pioneer in grilling of the aged beef ribeye steak. Tolosa’s connection with meat comes, not from the many animals raised in the area, but from the blacksmiths who made spare parts for the local paper mills – economic driving force of the town for years – and who were also responsible for designing the metal grills.


Our extremely high demand for quality when selecting our meat means that supplies are limited. 

Please contact us to reserve your table.