Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Friday, 25 February 2011

Dinner@O Galito, Carnide

To the right: Daniel, the owner and sensible one

Having friends to stay has been a good opportunity to get out and show them some of our favourite Lisbon restaurants. The first night it was Adega do Teixeira (see here), so on Wednesday night we headed northwards on the metro to Carnide and O Galito and the Alentejo cooking of Dona Gertrudes. It is her grandson, Daniel who is now in charge front of house. When we first starting going in early 2003 it was Henrique, Daniel's father who was very much in charge but now he is taking a back seat to Daniel.

2008 white from Quinta do Pinto

O Galito is not only known for its cooking but always for its fine selection of wine and this is now very much Daniel's area. Wine wise we started with a bottle of the rich but mineral 2008 Quinta do Pinto Branco, which is a nicely opulent blend of Viognier, Marsanne and Roussane with some oak still present but with a good mineral finish. This saw us through the various starter dishes that come as standard. On Wednesday they included the always very good slivers of rabbit with broad beans as well as scrambled egg with wild asparagus.

2001 Syrah, Quinta do Alqueve

A bottle of 2001 Syrah, a Vinho Regional Ribatejano from Quinta do Alqueve, was our first red. I'd noticed it among the special offers listed at the front of the substantial wine list. The 2001 still has very attractive spicy fruit – still youthful and quite soft but with an edge and well balanced. It worked well with our bacalhau cooked with tomatoes and onion.

2004 Calda Bordealez, Bairrada

Having shared the salt cod dish, we moved on to an estufa of hare, which was also delicious. Daniel suggested we have a 2004 Calda Bordalez from Bairrada. This opulent and powerful red (15.5% alc), which is a blend of 10% Merlot, Petit Verdot 15% and 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, split the party. Three liked the wine finding it more interesting and complex than the 2001 Syrah. I disagreed. I thought the Calda Bordalez was a clumsy fruit bomb that was just too powerful and sweet for the hare dish.


'The best Portuguese
Henrique Galito has not enough walls to display so many newspaper articles and awards won by his traditional restaurant along the years. He will have to find a spot yet for his newest prize: that of best Portuguese restaurant in Lisbon, granted by VEJA Lisboa jurors. Within this small 42 seat-room, Alentejano blood reigns in the recipes and also in the decoration, made up of hand-painted rustic furniture and Portuguese cobble stone. The house's special seasoning is prepared by Maria Gertrudes Grave Fortes, aka Dona Gertrudes, who, at 77 years of age, is still happy to serve at the tables. Her son, Henrique, receives the customers, together with his own son, Daniel. Three generations of a family that migrated from the Évora district to make a name in the capital, with a menu that offers, for example, eggs with tomatoes (4.50), oven-baked cheese with oregano (6.50), Alentejano crumbs (12.00), partridge in escabeche sauce (24.00), encharcada (4.50) and bread cake made with pumpkin (4.50). During the game season: hare stuffed with grain and turnips, rabbit, and feijoada with wild hog ribs are also served. Customers also can drink well since displayed on a brick shelf is a selection of the best Portuguese wines: Vale de Ancho, Reguengos Garrafeira dos Sócios, Carrocel, Chryseia, among others. Clients who are not interested in a full bottle may always ask for a glass of wine.

(From a review of the restaurant when it won a readers' competition in 2007.)
Rua da Fonte, 18D, Carnide, Lisboa, Colégio Militar. Tel: 21 711 1088 (42 lugares)


Luc Charlier said...

Jim, mouthwatering shivers is what you provide us with! One regret: Portugal is arguably Europe’s leading country as far as indigenous grape varieties are concerned (Hungary as runner-up ?) yet all the marvels you’ve drunk are made out of French cultivars. Either my statement is skewed or you’re just taking the mickey.

Jim's Loire said...

Very fair comment Luc. For the white I had ordered a 100% Arinto but Daniel suggested the Pinto as one to try and I often go along with his suggestions. I chose the 2001 as it had some age and was reasonably priced. It was only when the bottle arrived with Syrah on the label that I was aware of the grape variety. I decided that it would be interesting to try an aged Portuguese Syrah.

The third wine was Daniel's choice – it wouldn't have been mine.

Rest assured that we have been drinking other wines made from 100% Portuguese varieties.

Luc Charlier said...

You realize it wasn’t a criticism. First of all, who am I? And second, I value your interest in wine, your competence and the opennesss of your mind and curiosity. I was just surprised but wat you answer confirms my impressions dating from a few years ago (not been to Portugal since I became a wine-maker myself : haven’t got the money now): the fashionable locals despise their own patrimony and it is “in” to acclaim all things foreign, especially in “posh Lisboa”. On the other hand, such is the skill of the wineries in Portugal, and such is the quality ot their soil and climate, that I don’t doubt a single second all these bottles were very enjoyable indeed. Léon is not always looking at the grim side of things !

Jim's Loire said...

Luc. I hadn't taken it as a criticism but it had struck me that we had only drunk wines that evening made from non-Portuguese varieties.

Daniel is not a fan of old wines and may have a preference for more international varieties.

O Galito is not at all 'posh' or 'prententious'. I would be surprised if you didn't enjoy it.