Visit the Douro Valley is quite an experience, from wine tasting in the finest vineyards in the region, to the recreational activities (rather than drinking Port wine!).
I couldn’t finish my itinerary in the region without writing about two best restaurants in the Douro Valley. They are completely different but are both amazing for fine dining in Douro Valley.
Cais da Folgosa, Estrada Nacional 222 | +351 254 858 123
DOC has been surprising the Douro Valley since 2007, by the hands of the talented – and internationally recognised – chef Rui Paula . At riverside, with a huge terrace that invites you for contemplation, DOC welcomed me with all the warmth and relaxation.
The menu of complex flavours, combines elements of Portuguese cuisine with unusual ingredients such as tupinambo, a tuber from Peru used during the 2nd World War, due to the shortage of potatoes.
And the cherry on the top: the amazing sommelier of the house, who so most wonderfully mastered the combination of exquisite flavours with Douro wines. Superb fine dining experience in Douro Valley!
During lunch I had the pleasure to have a conversation with Rui Paula himself, who explained me the origin of this project. “When I first came here, the Douro Valley didn’t have great gastronomic traditions, despite the excellent wines. So I dared to diversify the culinary offerings of the region, taking in good products and giving them a new look. Always celebrating with Douro wines, of course!”.
We also spoke of his most recent projects: DOP in Porto, and Boa Nova in Leça da Palmeira. But I’ll talk about them in future posts, mere excuses to revisit the art of Rui Paula. Congratulations, Rui, for the excellent work and for providing an unforgettable fine dining in the Douro Valley!
Dinner: Castas & Pratos
Rua José Vasques Osório, Peso da Régua | +351 254 323 290
My experience at Castas & Pratos was faultless. Starting with the space, built on a former railway’s warehouse (the terrace is constructed in an old container!), which invites to the intimacy of a dinner for two or a fun group dinner.
Versatility, in Castas & Pratos’ dishes, is one of the reasons why I consider it one of the best restaurants in the Douro Valley: in addition to the restaurant and terrace, a wine bar with more than 30 wines by the glass. Fabulous for fine dining in the Douro Valley!
The menu highlights the beautiful Portuguese ingredients such as giant prawn from the Algarve coast to transmontanas “alheiras”, which are yellow sausages without pork meat (served with baby goat cooked in Port wine).
And finally, a divine trilogy of citrus, which certainly will make me go back…:)As my travels are made of people I would like to leave a special note of thanks to Luis, from Castas & Pratos, who most wonderful and passionately guided me on this wine & gastronomic adventure. He is a true ambassador not only to this restaurant, but to the Douro Valley region. Thank you so much, Luis!