A tasting menu is always a unique dining experience since it is a great opportunity to experience the amazing food and extraordinary cooking of a top chef.
Tasting menus are typically composed of five or more courses, which becomes a true showcase of a chef’s talent. Not only do they are composed of the restaurant’s signature dishes but are at the same time a carefully balanced selection of textures and flavors that usually have a strong emphasis on visual impact, and will also leave you a sense of satisfying pleasure.
Another pleasure of the tasting menu is that wine is specifically chosen to match each course, which can be a real revelation for trying grape varieties and styles you may never have considered before but which will probably become a favorite in your meals, you will have contact with an expert, a sommelier, that will present to you each bottle of wine through this gastronomic experience.
Be surprised by the list below of restaurants that offer fantastic tasting menus with amazing wine pairings, in which some have unique wine repositories inside the space.
Cozinha da Clara, Quinta de La Rosa - Douro
With a fantastic view of the Douro river, Clara's kitchen has opened its doors in the summer of 2017 and was an instant hit. Cozinha da Clara in Portuguese is a tribute to the grandmother of the owner of Quinta de La Rosa, duo to her love for food in general, and for her cooking art and unique recipes. The kitchen of this restaurant is directed by Chef Pedro Cardoso, which presents courses based on traditional Portuguese cuisine mixed with a contemporary interpretation. The menus are always seasonal since all of them are composed of fresh regional products and paired with the delicious wines of Quinta de La Rosa.
Doc - Douro
DOC restaurant is owned by the awarded Chef Rui Paula. It has a breathtaking scenario composed of a glassed room and the suspended esplanade on the river where you can appreciate to the max the fantastic scenario of Douro. Classified as World Heritage by UNESCO since 2001 due to its location, the amazing dishes of this restaurant are modern and present an inventive look. This happens because the kitchen of DOC is all about a kind of historical laboratory based on several generations of culinary recipes. Furthermore, the service is a fundamental pillar in Rui Paula's restaurants, and DOC is no exception since it has been a wine restaurant from the beginning.
All the menus contain the great wines produced in the Douro, to the most exclusive and unique Port wines. With more than 700 references, the DOC is the most complete repository of the best produced in the region, a true wine showcase of the Douro. It also includes amazing wines of the world and their neighboring regions like Dão and Vinho Verde. Plus the restaurant can function like a 'tasting room' since all the dishes and wines are perfectly matched. The sommeliers test each combination in detail, always looking for the best proposals. It has been awarded for 'Best Regional Wine List 2007' and 'Best Regional Wine List 2013' at the National Wine List Competition, promoted by Revista de Vinhos, in collaboration with PrimeDrinks.
Terraçus, Quinta Nova - Douro
Terraçus is a true showcase of the amazing products and flavors of the Douro region, where the main ingredient is wine. The mission of this kitchen is to celebrate Portuguese gastronomy through authenticity, flavor, and texture. This dedication has earned titles of 'best restaurant in the Douro' by the Financial Times, as well as several compliments from the influential Condé Nast Traveller, in particular for his 'exceptional food. At the helm of the kitchen is Chef André Carvalho with a highly professional team that every day celebrates the passion for the land. The Chef André Carvalho has rewritten the culinary landscape of the Douro Valley, in perfect harmony with the winemaker Jorge Alves. They are the ones who design the menu for each season, where each dish is cooked to pair in full harmony with the wines of Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo.
Casa das Pipas, Quinta do Portal - Douro
This fantastic restaurant, under the leadership of Chef Milton Ferreira, is composed of a wonderful porch over the vineyards, which is a great space to enjoy their tasting menus while savoring the Douro's vineyard landscape. This restaurant has won the award "Best Wine Tourism" of the guide "Boa cama, boa mesa" and has been praised as an excellent restaurant by those who appreciate gourmet gastronomy of regional inspiration, in a warm and familiar environment, but with a top of the notch service. All the wonderful dishes are paired with the awarded wines of this estate.
Largo do Paço - Amarante
The Largo do Paço restaurant has been awarded a Michelin star and shares its address with the Casa da Calçada. Chef Tiago Bonito shares all his passion for the art of cooking into his dishes. They are filled with memories, people, places, and flavors that give shape to his creativity in the elaboration of the author's dishes. All the menus are changed seasonally in order to incorporate the freshest organic products available on the market. They try to balance the menus between the traditional and the contemporary, the simple and the sophisticated all paired with great Portuguese wines.
DOP - Porto
Another fantastic restaurant owned by the Michelin awarded Chef Rui Paula but this time located in Porto. The suggestions of DOP are fluid and include a wide variety of fish and seafood, as well as more traditional meats, soups and pasta. Regional and land products such as fruits - fresh and dried - cheeses and salads are also noteworthy. The spices finish the gastronomic experience with a touch of originality and mystery. The two tasting menus available all are paired with unique wines. The list of wines of the restaurant is rigorous and extensive, with an absolutely amazing selection from hundreds of the highest quality references representing several wine regions of the world. Besides, their sommeliers test every combination in detail, in search of the best proposals for each dish.
Mesa Real by João Vaz - Bairrada
This restaurant offers a unique experience of entering a real royal palace to feast on an imperial meal since it is located in this authentic fairytale palace - Bussaco Palace filled with enchanted woods and a historical atmosphere of enormous refinement. A true fairy tale, the restaurant led by João Vaz, presented tasting menus that are renewed every season all paired with the legendary Bussaco Wines that are in the wine cellar (itself).
Eleven - Lisbon
Located at Lisbon's highest point, the restaurant Eleven offers a breathtaking view over the city and the Tagus, surrounded by the green of Edward VII Park. The architecture of the building, which assumes itself as modernist and minimalist in its forms and exterior decorative elements, uses organic materials (stone, wood, iron). Besides these incredible features, the team led by the awarded Chef Joachim Koerper delivers in each dish first quality products and evident fineness in the execution of them, plus the accentuated flavors are a constant in each meal. Also, this restaurant has an incredible list of wines that pair in perfect syntony with the stunning dishes.
River Lounge - Lisbon
This over-the-top restaurant with incredible views is located inside the amazing Myriad hotel. With an exclusive and contemporary ambiance, where the textures and amplitude of shapes stand out. The River Lounge Restaurant presents different experiences for the various moments of the day and the superb cuisine with Mediterranean influence is accompanied by a careful selection of Portuguese wines. The team led by Chef Carlos Cardoso delivers a diverse gastronomic offer in each dish. Moreover, if you stay a little longer you will catch a start to the musical entertainment offered by this space.
Sommelier - Lisbon
In this wine restaurant, the wine is incredibly respected, in which all the wines are served by the glass and only the best national brands. Besides, at the table, there are also several tasting adventures, always with the best harmonization. At the restaurant you will find a wall at the end of the room with the best wines produced in Portugal are stored. There are nine wine dispensers by the glass, that are used to preserve the wine after opening. Furthermore, the food offers a sensorial gastronomy trip all course paired with incredible and delicious wines.
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This article, originally written in 2020, has been republished and amended to provide our readers with updated information.