Nov 02, 2021

Discover the Gastronomy Flavours and Sensations of the Historic Porto and the Beautiful Douro Valley

The city is known for its enthusiastic eaters and prime location between the Atlantic, Douro River, and mountainous countryside, all providing abundant ingredients from both land and sea.

Barão Fladgate – Porto

 

Barão Fladgate Restaurant offers a spectacular location and atmospheric setting on the grounds of Taylor’s Port cellars with magnificent views over the Douro River to the old historic centre of Porto. The menu is based on a contemporary interpretation of traditional cuisine where the highlight are the fresh local ingredients and showcasing the authentic flavours of Portugal is very important. Its wine list features a wide variety of labels from the main Portuguese vineyard areas and, as would be expected, a comprehensive choice of both wood-aged and Vintage Ports.

The kitchen of Barão Fladgate is lead since 2017 by Chef Ricardo Cardoso, in which he has been developing and consolidating a Portuguese signature cuisine, with refinement and innovation. But what has motivated him to embrace this incredible project? According to Chef Ricardo, it was ‘the freedom to start a project where I could introduce my mark and apply everything I learned from my culinary experience.’ In the four years of this project, the Chef has highlighted the Portuguese cuisine with international influences, focusing on fresh, differentiated, and irrefutable quality products. ‘We have the freedom to create, but we keep the focus on high standards in all our work so that the client can have a unique experience.

In fact, the most used products from the region in the confection of the dishes consist of products from the north and south of the country and international fusion, focusing on the fish from the coast and seasonal products. Chef Ricardo has also highlighted a tasting menu: ‘I would highlight the Taylor’s Menu, in which we lean more towards our Port Wines, in three distinct moments, offering a complete sensorial experience.’

Recently the Barão Fladgate restaurant was recognized by the Best Wine Tourism Awards as one of the best restaurants in the wine regions by GWC. To Ricardo Cardoso the award meant ‘the recognition of four years of work in developing menus with Port Wine pairing.’ But did this award trigger new dynamics in the restaurant? Chef Ricardo affirmed ‘we have not yet been able to ascertain and feel new dynamics, since we were forced to take a pause in the regular operation of the restaurant due to the pandemic.

Casa dos Ecos – Douro Valley

The pop-up restaurant Casa dos Ecos has the aim to showcase the best of seasonal Douro produce, and it serves 60 people, between the living room and the terrace. But how was this project born? According to Frederico Mourão, the Wine Tourism Director of Quinta do Bomfim, ‘The project was born out of a joint desire between the Michelin-starred Chef Pedro Lemos and the Symington family to reinforce the importance of the Douro at a time when we were in the middle of a pandemic! We were convinced right from the start that the Douro was going to be a very popular region with the Portuguese in the summer and that we had the right ingredients to create a special offer: the best cuisine from Chef Pedro Lemos allied to the best wines from the Symington family.’

 

The concept of the restaurant and of Chef Pedro Lemos is to use locally sourced produce in the creation of the dishes in which is served the typical regional Douro gastronomy using traditional techniques, including wood-fired cooking. Pedro Lemos proposes regional dishes based on local products, such as ‘escabeche de peixe’, ‘milhos’, ‘arroz de pato’, lamb, among others. The menu is matched with the Symington family’s exceptional portfolio of Douro wines and Ports.

But what are the goals that are set for this incredible project? Affirmed by Frederico Mourão ‘ On the one hand, to show the best that the region has in terms of gastronomy, with the best ingredients and typical dishes. On the other hand, to showcase some of our best wines, also offering pairing suggestions that allow for perfect harmony between wine and gastronomy, in an enogastronomic experience of excellence.’

To celebrate its second year, Casa dos Ecos will highlight a series of wine experiences called ‘Programa Liberdade’. On selected days, guests will be invited to enjoy a sunset glass and Graham’s Port cocktails amongst the vines with live music. For a few weeks only, they will have the opportunity to taste Dow’s newly bottled 2019 Quinta do Bomfim Vintage Port, produced from the vineyards surrounding the house, and will also have the chance to purchase the wine, which will not be available anywhere else. The restaurant will make available rare bottles of mature Vintage Ports, served by the glass, and Symington’s DOC wines from older vintages. The pop-up will also host an exciting new release of Cockburn’s Port.

This is a project that Symington intends to continue to develop, in a successful partnership with Chef Pedro Lemos. After all, gastronomy is a fundamental pillar of Symington Wine Tourism, and as told by Frederico Mourão, ‘we intend to reinforce it in the future. The way forward is to strengthen our wine and food offerings!’

So come and visit a unique space for you to experience authentic Douro culture in an informal setting, and the unique gastronomy of the historic Porto.

Text by Wine Tourism in Portugal

Photos credits: Barão Fladgate; Casa dos Ecos