Jose and I did a great deal of research before heading off on a road trip from Madrid to the majestic Douro wine region of Portugal. Jose made reservations at one of the most romantic hotels and we carefully booked up our days with a combination of sightseeing and eating. The Douro Region is one of the most beautiful wine regions we have seen yet. We woke up early for some wine tasting and a lunch at the famous DOC restaurant in folgosa, midway between Régua and Pinhão. This restaurant is situated on the river and has incredible views of the surrounding hilly wine region. If you do plan on driving out there and are one of those people who tend to occasionally get sick in a car… I would heavily recommend bringing along some Dramamine. It is very easy to get sick with all the hills and tight turns.
We arrived to the restaurant just in time to try out the food but too late for the tasting menu. To be honest we weren’t to heart-broken especially after seeing the first few dishes.
Portuguese cuisine is gaining a great amount of attention these days with foodies so we were excited to jump on the off the beaten foodie track early. We read about this restaurant in a few places, all of which said that it was a place not to be missed. They were right for sure! The chef Rui Paula is one of the Duoro’s famous modernist chef and has his way of combining one of the most beautiful places (both architecturally and naturally) with some of the best looking and tasting food around. We have his cookbook on our list to buy.
All of the food was as tasty as it looked. The flavors were very different from the nearby spanish cuisine we are so accustomed to. Everything was out of this world and the wine list was mind blowingly vast! We decided upon delicious award-winning red wine, Quinto de Tedo with dinner. This full and rich red wine was a Blend: 60% Touriga Nacional, 20% Tinta Roriz, 20% Tinta Barroca Flavors: Fine acidity, moderate tannins and extreme sweet plum flavors. Price: 22 Euros at the restaurant and about the same price at the winery. Luckily while driving after lunch we saw the winery sign right up the hill. We stopped and bought a few bottles to smuggle back into the states.
Raspberry citrus foam
Estrada Nacional 222, Folgosa,
Douro valley (00 351 254 858 123
Hotel: Casa da Calçada Relais & Châteaux – Amarante, Portugal
This is one of the most romantic Hotels we have ever stayed at! Jose made an amazing find. The Beautiful yellow facade of the hotel was originally a castle for counts in the 16th century. Our room was huge and ornately decorated. The bed was covered with lush red rose petals, like in the movies. I doubt Jose asked for it but it was a nice gesture by the hotel staff.
This was the view from our hotel window
The restaurant at the Casa da Calçada
Not only is the hotel a gem but it also houses a has a Michelin starred restaurant. The dinner was tasty but probably not as good as DOC restaurant.
Casa da Calçada Relais & Châteaux
Largo do Paço 6