Porto DOP Rui Restaurant Review – Classic Portuguese Fare with Flair

DOP is in the Palace of the Arts in Porto's historic area

 

Even before you enter DOP Rui in Porto you sense you are in for a treat. 

 

Most tables afford window views of the charming historic area of Porto

 

The restaurant makes its home in one of Porto’s historic buildings, a one-time convent with many lifetimes and now the Palace of the Arts.

 

The clean simple decor gives DOP an uncluttered feel

 

Walk in and the simple uncluttered décor also affords most tables great views of this historic area from the many large windows in the dining room. 

 

The extension of the kitchen into the dining area gives DOP a homey welcome-to-our-kitchen feel

 

In one spot the pastry crew is at work—intensely at work!—giving you a suggestion of being invited into the kitchen.

 

Pastry chef at work

 

For a relatively small city, Porto packs a LOT of sites to see and you likely will want to run-run-run and see as much as your schedule allows.  DOP Rui fits into such an itinerary as a perfect place for an unwind. 

 

Our affable server Ligia grew up near Lisbon and has been working at DOP for the last four years

 

You get to experience a modern gourmet take on many Portuguese cuisine standards, expertly paired with wines from throughout Portugal.  

 

Sommelier Miguel shares his extensive and impressive knowledgebase of wine

 

This was an amuse bouche that truly did amuse! These truffles weren't sweet at all. The black ones were two-times fried versions. All had fish caviar. Beyond the lollypop visual, this "amused" by exploding in our mouths

 

It may seem sacrilegious to note the “deal” to all the DOP fans who come here regularly for the gourmet flair, but it really is a DEAL. 

 

Port sausage Alheira from the Mirandela region. Typically this dish includes blood and this DOP version has none. The samosa wrapping gives it a crunch. Three mushrooms: paris; portobello; and pelorotes also offset the smoky sausage taste

 

Seabass with lobster rice (risotto). The ocean taste of the lobster highlighted the sweet and mild sea bass. Served with ribbons of squid on top gives this dish added interest from such varied textures

 

Tenderloin veal Maronesa wth roasted potatoes and vegetables with ementhal cheese and a foie gras topping

 

For only 20 Euros, you will get a three-course luncheon (actually—there seem to be extra dessert courses included for all!) that will likely sate you for the rest of the day. 

 

Chef Rui Paula is from Porto but now also has restaurants as far away as Recife, Brazil. Photo courtesy of Rui Paula

 

Chef Rui Paula is said to be an autodidact.  He is also one busy man- with three restaurants, one of which is in Recife, Brazil.  That precluded our meeting him and learning more about how, like several chefs we’ve interviewed, visits to his grandmother first inspired his culinary interests.  That is a conversation we have made a strong mental note not to miss in our next visit to Portugal—or Recife!

 

Tip:  Let the sommelier do his picks to pair with your food AND ask him about the wines you are sampling.  Many Portuguese vineyards are too small to export to the US etc.  Quick chats with the DOP sommelier were a good short course on the country’s wines.

 

Dessert is not to be skipped at DOP! This mocha mousse was especially memorable

 

And on top of dessert you also are offered to choose from an exquisite selection of chocolates and other confections

 

Tip:  Don’t skip the dessert/s!

 

Open daily, except Sunday, for dinner.  Open daily, except Sunday and Monday, for lunch.

 

Restaurante DOP

Palácio das Artes

Largo de S. Domingos, 18

4050-545 Porto

 

For reservations call (in Porto, Portugal) 22 20 14 313

 

Photos:  Peter Kachergis, except if indicated otherwise

 

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