reitoria - 1After a long series of travel articles, we broke the routine and came back to Porto and its restaurants, which will always be the great basis of this blog. With so many openings during the last year and so many things yet to know (even that some I rather not to), we chose to visit one of the spaces, open in 2014, of which more has been said, the Reitoria. A space that steals the name of the historic building of Porto’s University, located right in front of the restaurant, meaning it’s hard to get a better location downtown. The restaurant recovers a two floor old house, keeping the original facade and recreating two different areas on its interior, on the ground floor the concept is of a Wine Bar and a Deli, in which they serve sandwiches made in Focaccia (artisanal production at the restaurant) and on the top floor the restaurant per se, a true steakhouse with the grilled meats becoming the brand of Reitoria.

The decoration of the space follows the concepts, with the lower floor standing out by its tall tables and showcases where the ingredients of the focaccias are exposed. On the top floor, the cool environment is kept, with a small room, well composed in terms of tables (here there’s no chance of talking about correct distances between tables), assembled in a clean and minimalist way.

Already seated, we started with a nice couvert, with highlight to the quality of the focaccias produced in the house.

reitoria - 5 Rustic Tureen with Pistachios and Pickles (7€)

When I tasted it, only a few days had passed since I tasted one of the best tureens of my life in Paris, so the comparison was mandatory. Not being at the same level, the flavors and textures did not compromise, very well accomplished, with good layers and good balance of meat and fat. Only sinned for being served a bit cold (it would benefited if served at room temperature). Good start.

reitoria - 6Portobello, BT egg, Tallegio foam and green asparagus (8€)

The description of the ingredients in the menu created high expectations to which the image did not correspond. But at the most important, flavor, the dish delivered what it promises, a good combination of earthly flavors that complement each other very well. Very good the cheese foam.

reitoria - 3Confit Calf Cheek, potato foam and vegetables (15€)

Knowing we’re at a steakhouse, we chose dishes that don’t meet the grill, once I had some expectations about the work of the young Chef Pedro Braga, we wanted to know some of his most elaborate dishes. One of those dishes was a fantastic calf cheek, cooked to perfection, soft and succulent, with an excellent sauce. Also good the choice of vegetables and their cooking. To me, the potato foam, even that interesting in concept and lightness, sinned for its temperature (it was cold), in a combination that does not ask for a mix of different temperatures. If it has been hot, it would have made an impression.

reitoria - 4Asian Pork Belly (16€)

It was for a dish like this that I stayed away from the grill, a well prepared and cooked pork belly, flawless texture and delicate flavor. Accompanied by a clear broth and slightly spicy (maybe they could have been more daring with the Asian flavors, but I understand the contention), on spot potato and cabbage. Very good.

From the garnish list we chose also a selection of roasted vegetables with balsamic and coriander (3), very well prepared and once again with a choice different from the usual.

reitoria - 2Underdone chocolate cake, panacotta and red fruits (6€)

With a less interesting presentation than the main dishes, the dessert served its purpose well. And the cake being just that, an underdone cake with chocolate flavor, the highlight goes to the vanilla panacotta, with an amazing texture (nothing of the usual excess gelatin) and delicate flavor. A good ending that deserved a better presentation.

The wine list is not one of the restaurant’s strengths, short, although with good options, mostly from the Douro. We ended up accompanying our meal very well with a classic Quinta dos Aciprestes from Real Companhia Velha.

The service, with a member known to us from other labors, was effective, relaxed in accordance to the space, but effective in the answer, from the sympathy to the knowledge of the menu.

As negatives I must point out the menu and the lighting. The menu, printed in A4 paper, slightly crumpled and with a bit deficient graphic presentation, discordant with the prices, the cuisine and even the environment of the restaurant. An important point and easy to review. The lighting on its hand is quite low, I like mid light restaurants, with cosmopolitan ambiance, but I also like to appreciate the dishes, the colors and a bit more of the space.

Final Remarks
Reitoria is, without doubt, one of the best spaces from the new tide of Porto’s restaurant scene, with quality products and a distinguished offer, from the informal sandwiches to the most refined grilled meats in a wonderful Josper. It has, for sure, some aspects to improve and some incomprehensible flaws, like the looks and the paper of the Menu, but from its kitchen come interesting dishes, with good products, good technique and one or another creativity tear from the young Chef Pedro Braga, who I hope to see following that side of his a bit more, even while keeping the well accomplished Steakhouse concept. We’ll be back soon!


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