Puro 4050

Puro 4050 is one of the most talked about restaurants in Porto since its opening, located in the agitated Largo de São Domingos, “it had everything” to work even before it opened…

As if “having everything” would be so simple and easy, but in reality, after Cantina 32 (see), Luís Américo and Inês Mergulhão could only create another success.

But let’s go step by step, the cuisine has the lines Luís Américo has been defining – and well – for his spaces, after Mesa (yes, I was one of those who loved, a lot, to dine in a “nursing home”), simple cuisine, product unfolding, balance of flavors and textures, some international influences, dishes to share and focused in cold cuisine, among many other things. Here he introduced a different detail – making all the difference! – betting in a differentiating product, the Buffalo Mozzarellas coming straight from Campania.

Combining with the accurate aesthetic sense of Inês, that makes any of her restaurants worthy even just for the visit, deceptively simple spaces, cozy and welcoming, but at the same time cosmopolitan and agitated, transmiting the idea of us being in any big European capital (the amout of tourists also contributes for that!).

Already installed on the delightful terrace, and between some toasts with a young  Soalheiro de 2016 – already very promising – arises a modest but comfortable olive oil, accompanied by an even more interesting and delicate buffalo butter, that helped along the bread prepare our stomachs to what would follow.

Burrata, Parma DOP Prosciutto, Rocket (12€)
And off to a good start, with a great Burrata, clearly the best I ever tasted in the city, of a creaminess and richness beyond comparison. It’s impossible to go wrong with this classic combination! Very good!

Mozzarella Afumicatta, laminated courgette, pepper jam and poached pear (11€)
Another fresh dish where the star is the mozzarella, but this time in a smokey version, that won’t quite be the best choice to a less attentive client. Its notes and textures are very different from the common mozzarella. Here served with a good combination of flavors, with highlight to the excellent pepper jam and the fruit, that we already knew from the Cantina.

Pizza Focaccia, caramelized onion, mozzarella, black garlic and del piquillo peppers (6,50€)
Although at a good level, it was the least interesting proposal of those we tasted during this dinner. Highlight to the use of black garlic, and the balance between sweetness and acidity creating a good symbiosis among all the elements!

Beef Tataki, mushrooms and truffle (8,5€)
By truffle, know the use of the irritating truffle oil/butter, each day more famous around here! But moving on because the dish is much more interesting than that – perfectly cooked meat, of good texture and flavor, nicely paired with some moist and earthy shimeji mushrooms. Simple and well executed!

Octopus Risotto and chestnuts (12€)
In my point of view and assuming we are not in front of a risotto but a good rice dish, this is one of the great dishes of Puro, inspired by the Brazilian cuisine, using coconut milk and palm oil, and a bold combination of octopus and chestnuts, at first weird, but then great – this while I ask myself why there’s not a recipe already with this combination in Trás-os-Montes. Rich, greasy, sweet and with a great texture. It’s worthy to come back just for this rice (as I have…)!

Wagyu Ossobuco, Puro’s potato puree (25€)
The noble massaged meat, here presented in one of its “inferior” cuts, but full of flavor. Good texture of the meat and good connection with the sauce, enrichened with the few marrow I could take from the bone. Very good! And very well paired with the Puro’s puree, which is, in reality, a potato mash with caramelized onion, that gives it another character and life!

Porto Tawny Tiramisu (4€) and Lemon Crème Brulée with Amaretti
Without the wow factor, two desserts well accomplished, with highlight to the freshness of the lemon and the contrast of textures with the biscuit and the creaminess; and a good pairing of the Port and the chocolate in the case of the Tiramisu. A good chapter!

Chocolate Salami with Amaretti (3,5€)
It seems to be the fetish dessert of the restaurant; still, it was the least captivating for me. Interesting texture and flavor of the amaretti in the mouth, but without great history!

Buffalo Ricotta Pie, pumpkin jam (3,5€)
And I left the best for last! The best dessert of the night, elegant and fresh like the ricotta, and rich like a good pumpkin jam. A very well created dessert that is sure to end a good meal with a plus!

That and a memory of a famous pumpkin fondant with cream cheese that Luís insists in not repeating and many try to replicate without success.

A positive note to the agility of the service, the fruit of a well-thought menu and the sympathy of the team, that without great formalism and technical rigor are well matched with the food and space.

Final Remarks
It’s certain and I have already left it very clear that it’s not in this register I like to see Luís Américo, but it is what the market and life have requested from him, and what he does, he does well, so you can see by the success of the spaces he heads and the consulting jobs he does around town.

Even so, it’s always a good “Portuguese” excuse to visit Macao!

This Puro 4050 is a breath of fresh air in the city, a space with everything to every taste, from the simplest to the boldest, from the vegetarian to the anti-gluten. It’s a bold space, agitated and tasteful, which is positioned in a cosmopolitan side that Porto also needs and deserves! Offering unique produce, like the excellent mozzarellas and some irresistible combinations!

See you soon!

Puro 4050
Average price: 25€ per person, without wine 
Largo São Domingos, 84 – Porto
+351 22 2011 852

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

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