Louro – Conrad Algarve

The luxurious hotel Conrad Algarve, opened in 2012 and made a strong bet in gastronomy, with the opening of Gusto, of the chef Heinz Beck (***Michelin), which will be one of the most serious competitors to the so desired star. With this restaurant closed in order for the staff to rest, the choice went for the hotel’s second restaurant, Louro, a more relaxed space, which is used also as breakfast area and presents a more relaxed cuisine than Gusto, with a Portuguese matrix, trying to show our ingredients and combinations to an international audience.

The decoration of this wide space is well accomplished, created around a beautiful and illuminated oval center, from where the tables disposition begins, quite correct as the matter of fact, allowing privacy even with a full house. The warm tones used provide a cozy environment, which does not always happen in this kind of hotel restaurant with large rooms, the view over the infinity pool beautifully illuminated is also worth noticing.

We started the meal with a nice bread selection, while choosing the dishes.

Foie Gras Torchon, Muscat gelatin, caramelized orange peel, port butter and brioche croutons (11€)

Well balanced dish between its elements, exception to the size of the torchon, slightly big in comparison to the other elements of this set. The game of sweet and sour was well achieved as well as the textures. Great port butter.

Pork belly marinated in roasted pimiento and bay leafs, clams, sautéed potatoes, apple puree and crispy pork skin (10€)

A non-compromising dish which brings us to the obvious and classic Portuguese dish “carne de porco à alentejana”. The pork, the pimiento, the potato and the clam are present and the flavor brings those memories, a beautiful dish, well thought in terms of texture where the elements shine whether together or each element by itself.

Algarve’s shellfish risotto, concassé tomato, basil foam and sea aroma (24€)

Rice with plenty broth, tending to the Portuguese side over the Italian risotto, well presented with all the elements separately cooked, with right timings. Nice insertion of the fish and its broth giving more depth to the dish as well as the foam. Very well accomplished.

Salted Cod fillet, Codfish brandade, crispy chorizo, pearl barley and pimiento with parsley and garlic oil (26€)
I must confess that the codfish dishes without our traditional cure always leave me standing behind, it’s not stubbornness just a matter of habit. This was not an exception, well executed dish, with the codfish conserving its gelatin and ideal texture, it just lacks that flavor the salt and the drying transmit. Well achieved combination, with the great brandade and the barley, with plenty of flavor and important in the good texture game created in the dish. It’s a nice way to show the codfish to a more international public.

European handmade cheeses selection, wine cooked pear, grapes, figs and a bread and cookies selection (12€)
Nice presentation of national and international cheeses, among them azeitão, serra, ilha and Roquefort, products with good quality and well accompanied.

Warm caramelized banana tart, Rum and raisins ice-cream (10€)
A combination that hardly goes wrong, well presented, thin pastry, crunchy and nicely cooked, on spot caramel. The good quality ice-cream completed well in temperature and in ratio of rum and banana. A little less sweetness would be ideal for me, however, great for the sweet tooth.

We accompanied our meal with one of the new and good producers from Algarve, Quinta dos Vales, with a Marquês dos Vales Selecta Blanc des Noirs 2012, a fairly fresh wine, with a pleasant and light aftertaste. This producer mixes art, with numerous art exhibitions and visits to the wines and has been proving to be one of the most promising of Algarve.

The service is professional, correct and friendly, with just a few things to improve, particularly in explaining the dishes.

Final Remarks

Being a luxury hotel we always expect the best, although often that doesn’t happen, Louro, while not being the 1st restaurant of Conrad Algarve (that place belongs to Gusto, that certainly will bring some joy and starts to the hotel) doesn’t compromise in any way. The proposal to transform Portuguese ingredients and influences in a more international cuisine that captivates the clients is very well succeeded and by the hands of an Australian. Very well prepared dishes, on spot cooking points and flavorful creations make of Louro a right bet to those who stay at the hotel or those who just wish to drop by.

Conrad Algarve
Rooms from 209€
Estrada da Quinta do Lago, 8135-106 Almancil, Algarve (Portugal)
+351 289 350700

The described meal was held at the invitation of Conrad Algarve, being the opinion and text of the sole responsibility of the author.


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