By NIGEL ADAMS
The Algarve Wine Society visited the Uniko restaurant in Vilamoura last Friday to sample a menu created by Chef Jonnie Pratt, who used to run the Bistro des Artes in Almancil.
Uniko, situated on the marina at Vilamoura, has already attracted a large clientele and top reviews.Jonnie has always been known to produce some interesting dishes, so our organiser David Grindley set him a challenge: From Ocean to Farm, Forest to Orchard, what can the Algarve come up with?Participants savoured a selection of canapés on the decking overlooking the Marina, accompanied by Ginny Hendricks sundowners that glowed surreally.The canapés were fried de cabra and marmalade balls, duck liver parfait with bacon, onion compote, marinated sardine fillet with pepperade and clam tempura.
The party then moved into the restaurant to enjoy rosemary scented snail caviar, pâté, samosa and snails in their shell accompanied by Real Companhia Velha Quinta de Cidrô – Alvarinho 2011.The next course was free range chicken soup with slow-cooked egg washed down – rather unusually – with a Moscatel do Douro.This was followed by grilled octopus, carpaccio, salad and jelly served with a Gewürztraminer 2011.Palates were then cleansed by a Bloody Mary sorbet.
Then a scrumptious main course of assiette of Tavira churra lamb arrived together with a Touriga Nacional 2010.The dessert course was apple in various forms, slices, jelly, mousse and ice cream together with a Grandjô Late Harvest 2007.A local cheese selection was accompanied by Reserva Royal Oporto Ruby.Finally for those who could manage it, there was Irish coffee and petit fours.
All the very enjoyable and well-made wines were produced by Quinta de Cidrô and were supplied through Rui Mendes.
This menu required considerable work in preparation and service and the restaurant is to be congratulated in providing so many innovative dishes to 60 people.A booklet with comprehensive wine notes and all the recipes for the evening was a thoughtful addition to a memorable evening and was much appreciated by the members.
The Algarve Wine Society will be holding its summer party on June 23.For information about the Algarve Wine Society, or to enquire about membership, please contact the Secretary Nigel Adams: