Being based in Viseu for a week-long wine tasting tour in the Dão I can say all food encountered was excellent and I came back 5 pounds heavier. Portuguese food is in my opinion simply the best in Europe from the simple mom and pop restaurant to the Michelin starred darlings.
I had scant opportunity to discover Viseu which is a shame because what I saw was beautiful. I did have the opportunity to visit a brasserie by the name of Cervejaria Cacimbo and I thought I’d share a few observations about it and some of the wine we consumed there.
My initial thoughts were that it was very modern in décor and perhaps a bit too bright in the lighting. As this was a brasserie, I’ll say I am surprised all beers but 1 of the 10 were from mainstream brewery Sagres. Where were the microbrews?
The menu seemed very seafood heavy including extensive shrimp and langoustine choices. The prices were certainly reasonable with sea bass at 9.75€, sea bream for the same price, Octopus Rice at 16€ and the great traditional Bacalhau at 12.50€.
We had a variety of dishes including migues (flavoured breadcrumbs), bacalhau com broa (traditional Portuguese Cod casserole) but the highlight of the evening was a rare tomahawk steak served with a mushroom risotto. EU beef is subject to strict laws as to hormones and anti-biotics and is far superior to North American beef.
In terms of wine there were two absolute standouts both from Quinta da Folorca which unfortunately is not on the Dão wine route map.
The Quinta da Falorca Old Vines Red 2011 made with Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Alfrochiero which had aged 24 months in French oak was stunning. It was stern yet sensuous and what an awesome match with the Tomahawk steak. Not that I always agree with Robert Parker but on this I’ll agree with his 95 rating. At 33€ at the winery this is not a cheap wine but my goodness with that steak heaven awaits.
Our group was to have visited the Quinta but technical problems at the winery scrubbed our visit there.
The Quinta da Folorca Rose 2016 was also awesome being a perfect match for the bacalhau. When matched with the cod and potatoes it exploded into a wonderful powerful beast.
At dinner the wine writers I was with actually swallow and do not spit. Our trip home was certainly animated! Dão wines and food are deadly delightful! Who cares about the beer!
(Cervejaria Cacimbo, Rua Mendonça, Lote 3, loja A, Viseu, Telephone 351 232 441 484)