Saturday, January 25, 2020

Pedro Lemos

Pedro Lemos opened doors in 2009 and since the beginning became one of the most prestigious restaurants in Porto. In 2014, they received a Michelin star - becoming the first in the city. Located in Foz, one of Porto's most beautiful and emblematic historical neighborhoods, in a house classified as architectural heritage. They believe that a gastronomic experience is only complete when accompanied by good wine. The wine cellar is a reflection of their passions and path, from the icons to small and unknown producers from north to south of the country, as well as international wines. The selection is judicious with exemplary service.  We enjoyed our final dinner in Portugal here.

Full disclosure: I was not feeling 100% well but instead of cancelling our reservation, I decided to power through. I wish we could have ordered the full tasting menu with wine pairing experience, but opted to go the lesser route.  Nevertheless, we were waited on with finesse and warm hospitality that exudes Michelin quality, starting with the amuse bouche.  I don't remember the details of each bite, but I really liked them all and could taste all the Portuguese influences.

To drink, I chose a glass of 2016 Alias Branco de Outrora, rosé from Barrada, Portugal to start.  It had a lovely light fruit and floral nose, with a very dry, almost chalky finish that was a mix of minerality and tartness.  Again - I was not feeling that great, so I ended up nursing this glass the entire evening.  Keith, on the other hand, started with a glass of Vinho Verde - 2015 Granit Mineral Selection Alvarinho.  It had refreshing tropical notes that he enjoyed very much with most of the courses.  Later, he switched to a glass of red - 2014 Terra do Zambujeiro from Borba, Portugal.  It was medium-bodied with well rounded fruit notes. I think he felt bad that I was not drinking as much, so he settled on these two only.  Probably best, since we had a long flight home to catch the next morning.

Our first course was my favorite - Cucumber with Mackerel.  It was so fresh and and bright with a hint of briny-ness from the olives. I was immediately impressed, and excited for what was to come.

The Rose Shrimp with Curry was unique.  Raw shrimp was pressed and shaped and dusted with seaweed, served with shrimp paste "cakes".  The textures were just wild and overall made for an interesting course.

Keith enjoyed Duck Foie Gras with spiced bread and pear.  Though small, this dish was very tasty and paired well with his red wine.  It is the most popular dish in the restaurant.

I enjoyed the Bivalves with white asparagus and a decadent beurre blanc.  It was another highlight of the night for me.

Next, we both ate the Bluefin Tuna with wasabi, enoki mushrooms, in a light dashi.  This dish was a bit bland overall, but a nice segue to the next course.

Another pretty presentation was the Caldeirada de Peixe - a traditional fish stew, here studded with cuttlefish.

Keith ate a small piece of Beef wrapped in cabbage with chickpea and potato.  The flavors were good, but this course was just too small for Keith.

A stunner in presentation, was the Red Mullet with pickled beetroot and iodized sauce. The fish itself was cooked expertly, but the sauce was a tad too salty.

As a palate cleanser to close the evening, we enjoyed Coconut with white chocolate and citrus.  I really liked this almost-all-white dish.

Lastly, for dessert we ate Banana with lavender foam and sagu pearls.  The lavender foam killed this dish for me. It just made everything taste like soap.  I did not like it at all. 

With our bill, we were presented with freshly baked Madelines and a printed menu signed by the chef.  Though I was incredibly full, I happily nibbled on these fresh treats.  Overall, we had a very lovely meal and I felt so bad that my appetite was not fully on point.  Nevertheless, we had a great final dining experience in Porto.

Total Rating: 4.23
Food: 4.5, Price: 3.5, Service: 5, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 4

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