Restaurant Brasão – Felgueiras

We often hear that tradition is not what it used to be, that this or that place has changed, or about the good old days. Unfortunately, this is true most of the times, but every now and then, some places change for the better, recreating themselves, and simply continue to satisfy and surprise us.

A good example of that is António Carvalho, who has been giving life to the regional gastronomy of Felgueiras for over 40 years. By his hands, the Santa Quitéria has become epic, he passed through the Algarve and settled at his original Brasão, where he continues to experiment and learn as any of the young talents around.

To get there is easy and we soon arrive from Porto to the road of Refontoura, where you’ll see a big billboard with the chef’s picture assuring you’re at the right place.

Inside the restaurant you’ll find António Carvalho among the room and the kitchen, offering his suggestions and charm like a good cicerone is meant to. And we started very well with a good and varied basket of bread and a cheese and smoked traditional sausage platter, also with prosciutto, the latter a bit salt dominated.

Followed some nicely worked “pataniscas” (a type of fritters usually with salted codfish), and the first surprise, a home smoked salmon, that surely no one dreams to find in a traditional Portuguese cuisine restaurant. Says the chef he learned to work the salmon on his trips to Brazil, and glad he did…

Home cured salmon

 Grouper Soup 

The most memorable soup I had this year, a grouper soup that combines everything our traditional cuisine should be, good products, simply worked, substance, freshness, and lots of flavors! The generous pieces of fish, combined with the poached egg, the tomato, peppers, and the pasta, make this deceptively simple dish a genuine interpretation of our tradition.

Brasão is worth the visit even just to taste this soup!

Baked Octopus

Nicely sized mollusk, exquisitely cooked, with the perfect texture. Rich and greasy as any good roast should be!

Grilled meat with “arroz de Fumeiro” (rice with traditional smoked sausages) 

A good sirloin steak, perfectly grilled, showing that also the meats are especially worked and selected. But the best was really the rice, rich and flavorful, with vegetables and beans, making of it almost a complete dish. Very good!

Orange Tart

A good orange tart is always hard to find, sometimes the texture is not right, sometimes it’s too sweet, and few (or none) times it comes close to my mother’s recipe, that marked my palate and set the bar very high. Well, here the tart is very close, nicely executed, without excesses, with a fresh flavor. An ending with some freshness after an already long and heavy meal.

But there was still time to finish the meal with one small pine nuts and carrot muffin, cooked to order, moist, warm and very tasty, becoming a choice to our next visit!

Pine nuts and carrot muffin

The wine list is another highlight of Brasão, with many and good options from every region of the country, especially Green and Douro wines. For this meal, we opted for a fantastic Alvarinho from Quinta de Santiago.

The service ran smoothly, with a nicely worked mise en scène, revealing more care than we usually find in a traditional style restaurant.

Final Remarks
An immaculate meal, as by the way they always are in our visits to Mr. Carvalho’s realm. A master, to whom retirement seems very far away, so much is the vivacity and charm he battles within every service.

The cuisine at Brasão showcases perfectly what we intend from our cuisine, good products and lots of flavor. Speaking of flavors, on Wednesdays (or by order) is served a ribs eye, steam cooked, whole, for 8h, that is to die for. This allied to the grouper soup is, for sure, a heavenly combo.

Unfortunately, and mostly in big cities, there are few great traditional cuisine restaurants left, so people and spaces like Mr. Carvalho and his Brasão make us believe that every trip and km is worth it to delight ourselves with the enchantments and wisdom of those who dedicate their lives to the unique and authentic flavors of the truest traditional Portuguese cuisine!

Restaurant Brasão
Average price: 20€/pax without wines 
Rua da Liberdade, 4082, Refontoura – Felgueiras

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.