Sunday, February 12, 2012

Report from ... Oporto, Portugal - Day 1, Arrival and Walk Around - February 12, 2012

Left Toronto at 5:30 Saturday afternoon in the middle of a snow storm ... the first of the year ... arrived at Oporto 10:55am local time (they are 5 hours ahead of us) ... it's been a long day, but things don't stop just because I got out of an airplane, there are things to see and do. Like check-in to the hotel, check out the shower and walk around Oporto during some free time before dinner in the hotel restaurant ... here is the pictorial evidence of the day beginning with an oddly placed shower in the room ...

Hotel Teatro - Oporto ... If you have ever wondered what it is like to shower in a fish bowl, now you know.

The Lobby of the Hotel ... waiting for my afternoon walk around
Stopping at a cafe on the Douro river for a Pork sandwich and a beer or two ... it don't look like much but the sandwich was delicious and the beer (Super Bock) was refreshing and cold.
Looking out over the Douro River at Villa de Gaia across the way, where the Port trade house are ... see if  you can spot the names on the buildings
More from the Douro River ... more Port houses across the way.
The people might be interesting but there are more Port houses to see in the distance
Replica of an old boat that patrolled these waters with Port wine deliveries
This bridge across the Douro was designer/built by the same folks that did the Eiffel Tower.
Looking back the way we came - down the Douro away from the bridge
My only picture from the Villa de Gaia side - battery ran out of juice ... old Port boats dead ahead

Dinner ... at the hotel restaurant

Best wine of the evening: Soalheiro 2011 Alvarinho from the sub-region of Moncao e Melgaco... intense pear and honeydew melon on the nose, melon rind and lemon pith on the palate, less intense than the nose but refreshing and crisp - perfect pairing for the next 3 dishes (****+)
Raw salmon, dill sauce, cucumber, "caviar" on potato croquet and a squid ink smear
Scallop, bacon, peas, quail's egg on squid ink onion puree
Although I have heard chef Ramsey talk about it often, I do believe this is my first experience with John Dory, the fish, with onions in a red pepper puree (you can just see it on the right at the back)
Dinner ends with a delicious Niepoort Tawny ... now, it's been a long day - off to bed
Tomorrow it's off to such places as Taylor's for a Port tasting, Alvaro de Castro and Paco dos Cunhas de Santar ... it's gonna be a long but exciting wine-filled day.

No comments: