Restaurant São Gabriel: laboratory of dining experiences
In recent days, a nervous niggling takes account of Leonel Pereira, while at the same time, from the top of his 1.86 metres tall, takes a deep breath and prepares to open the door of the room. Arranges the coat, puts his hand to the lock, and enters in one of the amphitheatres of the classes of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of University of Algarve where the expect a few dozen students to hear talk on marine species and biodiversity. On the other side of the podium are seated the future researchers, scientists and potential biologists, eagerly, as if a meal if it were, sorvem the words of the chief awarded, with the satisfaction of those who taste a full menu tasting. And it makes some sense to this comparison, since Leonel Pereira, in recent times, is part of a team of researchers, looking for new products, new ways of cooking and new proposals that will reach the table of the Restaurant São Gabriel, in presentations that are worth stars in the world of gastronomy and to Fork of Platinum, in the last edition of the guide Good Bed Good Table.
Return to the Road of Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lago, the jacket is replaced by a jaleca and between the pots and the pans, Leonel Pereira back to feel like “fish in water”. Down the stairs that lead to the old cellars, where he now works for the Creative Cook Garage and embrenha, again in the investigation of new dishes, this kind of private laboratory where he has spent the greater art of the days (and nights). On the workbench there are Jellyfish, and today they sell for, Jellyfish and the Hand of the Buddha who patiently will be prepared in several ways, vaporizadas in true machines of the laboratory, or, simply, lightly braseadas or transformed (in the case of the glassworth), delicious ice cream. Next, secam, various kinds of sausages, and dark with blood, made according to the recipes of the smokehouse traditional, but filled with sea bass, squid and everything else that creativity to allow that use in these sausages of the sea.
A few hours before you open the doors of the restaurant São Gabriel, climbs the ladder to take charge of the kitchen, where more than a dozen young cooks await with a dedication similar to that of a military leader, each order given by the voice command of Leonel Pereira, who was a marine in the Navy the national, is heard only in unison the response , “Yes boss,” and in a moment each begins to play the role for which it is intended. Sting-if the onions, cut the garlic and, among other procedures, uses the technique “Ikejime” to cut the fish, so, with this innovative method, greater sustainability and less stress to the animal, resulting in greater freshness and consistency in time of the bring to the table.
Outside the kitchen is the stage for all emotions with food, to the location where the creativity of Leonel Pereira shines, the room of the refurbished St. Gabriel, and the magnificent terrace which in the evenings of spring win another heat. An efficient team of room is the prolongation of Leonel Pereira with customers, always ready to give explanations, to make harmonization with the vast wine list and even recommend one or another dish that has gone out, for example, of the laboratory and that do not make part of the menu regular.
For a full experience, the Tasting Menu (€115) runs through all the creativity of the kitchen and features eight moments truly sublime. Starts with the starfish and the Crayfish, it follows with the only policeman Roast accompanied by the Xerém of Seaweed and the Soup of Clams with Oysters, Pesto of Coriander and Caviar Lemon. Before the meat is the Fillet of red Mullet with Celeriac in Textures and Cider “Hand-of-Buddha”, replacing the Breast of Pigeon “Royal”, with the algarve Corn, Beets and Pumpkin, and the oxtail with Parsnip, Onion Compote and Mushroom Nameko. Before dessert be fascinated with the Pork Bísaro Matured 60 days, accompanied by Repoho, Black Beans and Rocha Pear. The adventure ends with a Batonnage “Pedro Ximénez”, Truffle, Summer and Pineapples from the Azores. Will not be surprise to anyone that soon, in what the star says about the restaurant São Gabriel Estrada Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lago. Tel. 289394521) to reach another level. It was a Fork of Platinum in 2015 for the Guide Good Bed Good Table, a reward which he repeated in this year’s edition.
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