Sunday, April 10, 2011

Portugal Part 7: Foodie Feast at Rui Paula's DOC on the Douro

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Portugal was the cuisine, both rustic and haute. And hardcore foodies will find a plethora of places to make them happy in Portugal. During the Wine Pleasures tour we were treated to dishes featuring the best local ingredients inventively presented. One of the most impressive meals by far was the eight course, ten wine lunch at DOC, one of the top rated restaurants in Portugal under the direction of Chef Rui Paula.

DOC is perched on a pier above the Douro river with expansive views from every seat in the house. But trust me you won't be looking at the view if you dine there, all your attention will be riveted to your plate.

Filipe José Carvalho, Lara Dunston, Me

Ms. Dunston pictured above is an experienced professional, a Goddess of Perpetual Indulgence, able to clean every plate and empty every glass placed before her. Here she smiles, and offers to school me in her ways.

My pictures were taken with my phone camera so not the best representation of the artistry of the dishes. But you can visit GranTourismoTravels for some excellent photos of this meal.

First up: A flatbread with a foam of parmesan vegetable cream in a shot glass. Wine: Alvarinho Vinho Verde

2nd: Pomegranate & octopus carpaccio salad. Wine: Rose Quinta da Revolta

3rd: Blood sausage on olive oil cake with a red wine reduction

4th: Sea Bass with wild rice and asparagus. Wine: Atalya Branco

5th: Bisaro Pork Neck slow cooked for 12 hours at 72 degrees celsius with a chestnut reduction. Wine: Rui Paula Grande Reserva

6th: Emulsion of Mango and Strawberry

7th: Apple and almond Gratin cake with honey apple, cinnamon vanilla ice cream. Wine: Rozes 10 year Tawny

8th: Goat Cheese Samosa with Honey and Cottage cheese ice cream and Pumpkin jelly. Wine: Ruby Niepoort Port

I gave Lara's complete indulgence approach my best shot, but I was no match for her prowess. Pacing was my strategy. We'd already tasted over 20 Ports, wines and moscatels before arriving at DOC and in less than three hours time, we would be off to yet another wine pairing. So I wanted to savor the DOC experience and linger in the warm glow of a fine meal as long as possible.

Next year I will seek some intensive one-on-one indulgence training and coaching prior to the conference in Umbria!


  1. How could one savour at that pace? Save your lingering for another time, not a media trip. I'll have to work on that beatific Goddess of Indulgence smile, won't I? Don't worry, after the boot camp, you'll be up to speed by the next conference :)

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Lara--um by the there a Groupon coupon for the boot camp?

  3. Lara--And yes work on the smile it looks more condescending than beatific!

  4. We have reservations at DOC for May 21. We're running the Douro Valley Half Marathon the next day. It will be a great opportunity to "carb load." Thanks for this great report.

  5. Cool! You will not be dissapointed. Have a great race.



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