We decided to celebrate our 8 year anniversary in the renewed São Gabriel restaurant, an amazing jewel set in the middle of the golden triangle, between Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago. They lost the star last year due to bureaucratic problems and lack of (let’s call it) attention from the Michelin inspectors, perhaps this year they send a more organized squad and do not repeat the gastronomic public crime and give back what rightfully belongs to Chef Leonel Pereira and his team. I swear if they don’t I’ll organize a riot ant start using Pirelli!
That said let’s get back to what really matters and that is a splendid evening perfect closing for an important day that started in our table at the new beautiful garden. Vitor, the sommelier, advised us, perfectly, with a vinho verde Anselmo Mendes 2013 Alvarinho (29,90€) to complement our tasting menus and we happily went with it. No regrets there, or anywhere else by the way, the waiting team is polite and efficient, the food is to die for. Great news for bread lovers you get home made onion bread, olive focaccia, poppy seeds white bread, rye bread, corn flat bread, god, bread everywhere and not alone, Café de Paris butter with a touch of saffron and a prime 0,1% extra virgin cold extracted Angélica olive oil. Puts a smile on your face.
Parental advisory: the menu we ate is a little off track than the one in the link because, like it used to and should always be, staff at São Gabriel added some treats for birthday couple. Thank you guys!
- Caipirinha Oyster with sour cream – A nice connection of flavour for a very fresh summer treat, I would have liked a little less of the caipirinha slush so that the oyster’s flavour could really pop through
- Horse Mackerel “Algarvian Style” on Rice Pringle – Remarkable way of dignifying an otherwise humble ingredient with rice chips vehicle. They bring you one, ask for ten
- False Octopus Risotto with Kaffir Lime – Again a nice summer breeze with a perfect rice-like cut octopus with citric pockets in the middle, this could be a dish to eat at a beach bar on its own
- Foie gras with cauliflower and pumpkin – Ancient methods in the modernist kitchen, calcified pumpkin that is moist but tastes like dry, a delicious cauliflower praline and for sure the impeccably seared goose liver that always makes good people like me happy
- King prawn crackers with dry baby shrimps and seaweed paste – a tasty surprise that works as palate cleanser for the beauties to come
- Carabineiro – It’s like you went into the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in the Algarvian coast and stole Neptune’s lunch, shame on me, a few 18 seconds in boiling sea water and the most astounding prawn ever is offered to you, raw freshness in almost cooking mode comes with seaweeds in different textures and umami sauce
- Kingfish “Yellowtail” fillet with Organic Vegetables and Beetroot Cream – Even that the natural dryness of kingfish is not my number one favorite, it was a flawless fish dish with just a note of too much beet cream.
- Roasted Suckling Pig with smoked red cabbage, Brussels sprouts and mildly black pepper sauce – Cheers for the kitchen, if suckling pig in Portugal is king in São Gabriel it is the emperor in it’s low temperature moistness and crackling roasted skin, partnering with the spotless smokiness of the cabbage and the pepper jus
- “Black Angus” Beef, Mushrooms and Potatoes Puree – Tank god for the Saucier! Almost not being able to breath I pulled out all of my strengths to get to the finish line. This over the top, dramatic looking angus had a red moistness to it, again the demi glace was a gift from heaven, so were the little shimeji or enoki
- Almonds and rose Mousse
- Chocolates with Szechuan Peppers and Banana Ice Cream
- Custard cream cone, pistachio truffle and yucca pearl
xo See You In Algarve?