Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Yay for the YEATMAN in Porto, Portugal where the food is perfect (8-14-13)

We arrived in Porto for the first visit ever there and fell in love immediately.
We were invited for an amazing port tasting (many bottled will come home with us!) and the on to lunch at the new 5-star luxury Relais et Chateaux hotel, The Yeatman.
The hotel is built above the port houses facing the city on the south side of the Douro river, and before we even began to eat lunch we had decided to return next year!
After tasting, something refreshing was in order and a PortTonic is my new dream drink made from lesser cost CHIP DRY white port and tonic with a splash of lemon. In the 90 degree heat, this is the new cooler. Breads arrived and Samuel could not decide between white, cereal, olive, raisin and lavosh....so we all tried several. The butter was creamy and olive oil also arrived. The first amuses were a crunchy corn cone filled with guacamole, crab mousse and caviar in a cute cork container (remember that most cork comes from Portugal!). By its side was a slate slab with 3 amuses: rice crunchy cracker with quail egg, bruschetta (a flat bread) with sardine and fried tomato and cheese, and a fish tartare with lobster and micro greens over a chex-like cracker with caviar and yuzu.
Tapada do Chaves 2010 white from the southern region of Alentejo was a dream white. Each wine we had tasted all day sent us to heaven and we were so sad to only have two days in Portugal to experience all the amazing food and wine; hence the return plane next summer.
Express Lunch as it is called at this Michelin starred establishment is nothing like express. It isn't 6-10 courses, just four, but it's amazing.
After the amuses we moved on to TUNA & CRAB which was Crab cannelloni, cured tuna, molecular mozzarella and green tomato broth. I am not sure what the molecular was as the cheese tasted authentic, but the flavors in the dish were sublime.
The main courses were BLACK CODFISH roasted with shrimp, brandade and bivalves. Need I say more as cod is the national dish and here it was served brilliantly.My main was the BLACK PORK which I had heretofore thought only came from the south of France. WRONG! Black Pork is the famous pig that generates all the wonderful Jamon Iberico...but here it was Confit of Cheek, Roasted Tenderloin, Cured ham,Pearl Barley and Pisto. It was coarsely salted a bit too much for my taste, but what amazing meat it was. A Quinta da Cassa Reserve 2007 from the Douro region (where port is made just upriver and we will visit further next year for sure) was made from the amazing local varietals of Touriga Nacional, Tourriga Franca and Tinta Roriz.
You need to go back to wine school to learn the hundreds of grape varietals there are in Portugal!
Dessert was a blow your mind yet oh so simple CHEERY CLAFOUTI with Cherry Confit, Rum/Raisin Ice Cream (haagen dasz eat your heart out) and Vanilla & Honey Soup. Coffee was superb---we needed it to continue our tour, and then Raspberry filled Chocolate Macaroons, White Chocolate Passion Fruit Filled treats and tuilles with Chocolate Truffles all arrived to our delight. Not one was left!
The YEATMAN is a place where you can go for lunch or dinner or to the hotel for an amazing experience which we intend to do next year. All my clients will be directed here without any doubt they will be totally satisfied as we were.