It was of pure luck that I picked Antiqvvm – a Michelin one-star restaurant helmed by chef Vitor Matos – for dinner on our second day in Porto.
The restaurant sits on top of a hill overlooking the Douro river
In a 19th century Port Wine Manor
named Quinta da Macieirinha.
The inside of the restaurant is well-lit
With large windows adjoining a peaceful garden.
The menu is hand-painted exquisitely.
Upon selecting a tasting menu called Essence
Our journey began with……
Snack #1 – Horse mackerel ceviche with guacamole topped with tomato snow
Light, tangy and refreshing!
Snack #2 – Caesar Salad
Snack #3 – Cottage cheese with pumpkin chutney and sweet pepper, sunflower seeds topped with pumpkin powder
Timeless – Foie gras parfait garnished with smoked sturgeon topped with droplets of bittersweet mango, calamansi and Douro Valley Muscat Wine reduction
The textures, the flavors are perfectly orchestrated in this dish that we still dream of it to this day.
Arraial de S. João – Sardine and horse mackerel with pepper gelatin, roasted pepper gel, corn break crumbs, tomatoes, and cucumbers topped with tomato foam and spirulina powder
Coral – Scallop topped with sturgeon caviar, accompanied by shrimp ravioli in shrimp sauce topped with sparkling wine emulsion and black trumpets mushrooms
So savory, this dish became our second favorite, after Timeless.
From Rio Douro to Foz – Pike and mussel on parsnip mousse and plankton oil with oyster leaf in roasted fish and white port wine broth
Essentially …Earth and Sea – Brill topped with squid, smoked pork in roasted celery purée, fennel stripe with fennel foam
A smooth transition from sea to earth, signifying next to come……
Woodland – Iberian pork with barley, morel mushrooms and pork sausage, pine and tarragon foam
By the time this dish arrived, we were already full, but the pork was so tender and juicy that we hardly need any inspiration to delve into it.
Improvable Connection – Yogurt infused with vanilla bean topped with passion fruit mousse piped-in on the spot
The best-kept secret of this desert is the addition of Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Quinta do Noval.
Garden – Carrot cake, orange cake, Portuguese creme brûlée, kumquat, vegetable sorbet, bergamot, candied orange and coconut purée
The Chef’s Jewel
Mignardise of coconut passion fruit, blueberry financier, maçā amarante coconut flavored fruit, salted caramel chocolate
A tad sweet for us, but I adored that plate!
Food alone, this is by far the BEST Michelin starred restaurant I have ever dined. The service was good overall except that there was one waitress that seemed cold, but professional. To be fair, I did ask a lot of questions about the ingredient and the making of a dish, especially since every dish here was so uniquely constructed. Most of the staff were very helpful, even when they had to pull out a dictionary or help me spell a word on my phone. All but one.
On our way back, we were caught in a boisterous street scene with loud car horns and people shouting “Porrrtooooo”, which continued throughout the night and into the morning. If I had to take a guess, it must have something to do with the local football team. More on that later 🙂
Coming up next in the Travel section: A Day Trip and More to Eat in Porto, Portugal