Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the prestigious international dining and charitable club, held its February lunch of the Algarve branch on February 9 at the charming and long established O Leão de Porches Restaurant in Porches.
The lunch was attended by some 30 members and guests.
The restaurant is in a splendidly restored and maintained old house in the centre of Porches. The current owner, Bianca Salden, runs a friendly house with her charm and together with Nuno, who works closely with her and her two chefs, Pedro and Daniel, work wonders in the kitchen.
For this Chaîne lunch, the team really excelled themselves. The menu was creatively selected, the food was perfectly prepared and presented, and well complemented by wines from the portfolio of one of the prominent distributors, Decante Vinhos.
To get the atmosphere going, members enjoyed a cocktail of White Port, tonic and mint on the restaurant’s sunny and sheltered terrace. After a titillating amuse-bouche, the main menu started with a terrine de foie gras with black pudding purée and apple, accompanied by a well-made late harvest wine from Horácio Simões.
This was followed first by mouth-watering spiced marinated prawns with roast pepper risotto and celery, and then by a perfectly created and prepared sea bass with grilled potatoes, pepper oil and a light purée of carrot and ginger.
These were complemented by a lightly oaked, full but well balanced Chocapalha Branco Reserva from the Tavares family estate north of Lisbon.
Next up was some really delectable partridge with saffron potatoes, partridge boudain and cèpes and chestnut purée. This was perfectly accompanied by the star wine of the show from the distinguished Priorat region of Spain, Alvaro Palacios’ much-garlanded Finca Dofi 2008, a full but delicate and deeply complex wine.
For dessert, members enjoyed a rich and beautifully presented chocolate delice on a hazelnut praline base with raspberry and caramel ice cream. Accompanying and even enhancing this was Krohn’s splendid 20 Years Old Tawny Port.
Algarve Bailli, Michel Dressler, called in Bianca and Nuno together with chefs Pedro and Daniel and the team to receive rapturous applause for what was “a real culinary treat”.
For anyone who enjoys the highest levels of cuisine the Algarve has to offer and has some charitable instincts, the Chaîne would welcome them.
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