Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winterlicious at Chiado Restaurant

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We went out to Chiado Restaurant last Friday - lunch in Little Italy. For the longest time, I've refused to take part in these cheap promotions masquerading as proper meals ... I've never thought too highly about Winterlicious/Summerlicious. Bad experiences I suppose, and it's still a minefield. So many restaurants that try to pass off catering-quality food as fine dining. Terrible bang-for-buck (BFB in my buddy's lexicon). But they publish all the menus online now, and having been almost 2 years since my last visit, I really wanted to revisit Chiado. Their Winterlicious lunch menu looked promising - lots of fish. And I was not disappointed ... not in the least.

The meal was a triumph of the pleasures of a good piece of fish. Starting with the lobster bisque and grilled sardines, showing as much savoury aromas and flavours as you can possibly find in seafood. And then the monkfish, the skate, and roasted capon - simply divine. Divine. Texture, flavour, character, finesse, everything that makes us go mad and takes our breath away.

With lunch, a white wine from Douro, made with grapes you never even heard of (45% Viosinho, 20% Moscatel, 20% Malvasia Fina, and 15% Rabigato). A 2011 Quinta do Portal Colheita Branco, a bottle not printed on the wine list apparently. Chiado has a fairly extensive list of Portuguese wines, so of course, you have to take advantage. I was looking at a pair of wines from Dão, but was steered towards this one - a great suggestion, reminding once again that a good sommelier is a golden source of knowledge. Lithe, mineral, and linear - perfect with our meal, leaving you energized and refreshed.

A dream come true. Proof that there is no contradiction between refinement and authenticity; between sophistication and soul. 

DF

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