For 2013, the Michelin Dining Guide to Spain & Portugal has awarded prestigious stars to 11 chefs across Portugal. As like last year, the publication has awarded two stars each to Hans Neuner of Ocean Restaurant and Dieter Koschina of Vila Joya. Both restaurants are located in the Algarve. Celebrity chef José Avillez returns to the list with his new restaurant Belcanto in Lisbon. Previously, Avillez was awarded a star during his tenure at Lisbon’s oldest restaurant Tavares. Unfortunately, this year, Tavares loses its star, as does Arcadas Restaurant at Hotel Quinta das Lagrimas in Coimbra. All other restaurants from 2012 remain on the list for 2013.
Following are details of all restaurants distinguished with Michelin stars for 2013…
Just minutes away from Porto in northern Portugal is this cozy restaurant tucked away inside the elegant Casa da Calçada hotel. Chef Vitor Matos (formerly of Le Rouge Poivron in Porto) inherited the Michelin Star when he took over for Ricardo Costa in the last year. Yet, this year’s repeat designation firmly recognizes Matos’ own merit. The cuisine is traditional Portuguese with contemporary creativity. Regional ingredients change with the season, meaning you need to return again and again. Several tasting menus available. For the very best of Chef Matos, try the Imperial Tasting Menu, with wine pairing.
Largo do Paço, 6, Amarante, Douro Valley
Reservations: +351 255 410 830
Learn more: Largo do Paço webpage
The Yeatman hotel and restaurant has only been open a year, but already it has earned a coveted Michelin star. All credit must be given to Chef Ricardo Costa, formerly of Largo do Paço (see above). At the Yeatman, Costa puts his own contemporary spin on traditional Portuguese dishes. Yet, the Michelin judging panel may have also been swayed by the extraordinary views from the dining room that stretch across the Douro River to the cityscape of Porto. Or, perhaps they were impressed with the selection of 25,000 bottles of old and new world wines in the Yeatman wine cellar. Most likely, all are reasons to rank this fledgling restaurant among the world’s finest.
Rua do Choupelo (Sta. Marinha), 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto
Reservations: +351 22 013 3100
Learn More: Yeatman Website
José Avillez received his first Michelin star while head chef at the historic Tavares restaurant in Lisbon. His career has since skyrocketed with books, TV appearances and the opening of his Cantinho do Avillez. In the last year, Avillez turned his sights to another historic restaurant, Belcanto. He refurbished the venue and designed a menu that has won him yet another Michelin star. As Avillez describes, “each dish tells a story and sets out to stir the emotions of those willing to try it.”
Largo de São Carlos, 10, Lisbon
Reservations: +351 213 420 607
Learn More: Belcanto Website
The theme of modern Hotel Altis Belém is the heritage of Portugal’s global discoveries. This concept carries over into the kitchen of Chef José Cordeiro. His unique take on Portuguese cuisine involves embellishments of exotic flavors and textures found in former Portuguese colonies in South American, Asia and Africa. Exotic cuisines are not new to Cordeiro as his career includes establishments in London, Tokyop and northern Portugal, where he earned his first Michelin star. Tasting menus of four and five courses allow diners a choice of gastronomic discoveries. Yet, for something very special, make reservations 48 hours in advance and ask for the chef’s “Creative Menu.”
Doca do Bom Sucesso,1400-038 Lisbon
Reservations: +351 210 400 208
Learn More: Feitoria Website
With views out over the Atlantic Ocean and Cabo da Rocha, this former 17th century fort is now the home to Hotel Forteleza do Guincho and its restaurant of haute cuisine. Chef Antoine Westermann earned critical acclaim at his Le Buerehiesel restaurant in Strasbourg where he prepared multi-award-winning dishes which he humbly described as “la cuisine de ma mère”, or “my mother’s cooking.” Westermann has been with Guincho since 1998, preparing his distinguished French cuisine, but now with a Portuguese accent. Choose between Seasonal, Degustation or a la carte menus. Complement the meal with selections from a wine list that Wine Spectator Magazine calls “one of the best in Portugal.”
Estrada do Guincho, Cascais
Reservations: +351 214 870 491
Learn More: Forteleza do Guincho Website
This Swiss-chalet inspired restaurant provides an ambiance of sophisticated elegance and rustic charm. It is the perfect setting for the mastery of Brazilian Chef Henrique Leis who embraces French cuisine enhanced by flavors of his South American homeland. Having set his roots in the Algarve in 1993, Leis is now a gastronomic leader in the region. Seasonal menus can include creations such as crayfish with endive in lemon, rack of Iberian pork with chestnuts and carob, veal loin with sweet milk sabayon two mustards and honey, and royal urchins. The extensive wine list is equally impressive.
Vale Formoso, Almancil
Reservations: +351 289 393 438
Learn More: Henrique Leis Website
Two Stars. Having trained with Michelin star chefs in Berlin, Hamburg and Mallorca, Austrian Chef Hans Neuner was hungry for a star of his own. In 2006, he arrived at Ocean Restaurant in the beautiful Vila Vita Parc resort and immediately set out on his mission. He began utilizing innovative haute cuisine techniques on fresh, locally-produced (and largely organic) food products. Within three years, Neuner had a Michelin star of his own. And it was only two years more that he earned his two-star honor. No doubt Neuner is passionate about his craft, but it is guests of Ocean who enjoy the true rewards of his hard work—exquisitely-prepared and delectable cuisine. The menu, featuring fresh local ingredients, changes weekly.
Vila Vita Parc, Alporchinos, Porches
Reservations: + 351 282 310 100
Learn More: Ocean Website
Starting at the tender age of 15, German-born Torsten Schulz has trained in fine restaurants across the globe, from Chin and Las Vegas to New York and Spain. Today, he infuses flavors from his vast experience in the dishes he prepares at São Gabriel. Menu selections include: seared goose liver and terrine with variation of figs; lobster cream soup; lightly smoked salmon trout with braised cucumbers and crisp bacon; macadamia nut crusted black angus tenderloin with scallop and caramelized shallots; and crème brûlée with green tea sorbet. In the Summer, the patio offers al fresco dining among the lush sub-tropical Thai garden.
Estrada Vale do Lobo–Quinta do Lago, Almancil
Reservations: +351 289 394 521
Learn more: São Gabriel Website
Two Stars. In part, Austrian Chef Dieter Koschina credits this recognition to his staff’s daily dedication to maintain a high level of excellence in technique and service. Yet, ultimately, the most important factor is high quality product purchased daily from local fisherman and farmers. Says Koschina, “we only use what the Atlantic gives us, for example, lobster; and from the Earth we have veal or goose liver. These are the components of our kitchen every day.” Dinner is a set menu of six courses, except on Thursdays when Koschina serves his famous gala dinner with eight courses. Vila Joya is located in the multi award-winning Vila Joya boutique hotel.
Praia da Galé, Galé, Albufeira
Reservations: +351 289 591 839
Learn More: Vila Joya Website
German-born Willie Wurger has left a trail of Michelin stars across the Algarve. Since he arrived in the early 1980’s, Wurger cooked at La Reserve, the first restaurant in the Algarve to be designated with a star. He followed with seven years at São Gabriel, contributing to the star designation it has today. And, since 2000, Wurger has helmed his own restaurant in Vilamoura, which has been awarded a star every year since 2006. His specialty is cuisine from central Europe, and he prides himself on his hand-made seafood ravioli in a Vermouth cream sauce, pan-fried saddle of monkfish on mustard crème-sauce with potato-mousse, and lemon crème in sugar basket with berries. The restaurant is quietly tucked away behind the Hilton hotel in the residential area of Vilamoura.
Rua do Brazil, 2, Vilamoura
Reservations: +351 289 380 849
Learn More: Willie’s Website
French born Benoît Sinthon credits his Italian grandmother for awakening his passion for cooking. From his days in Marseille, he mastered the art of Mediterranean cuisine. After stints at several European restaurants, Sinthon settled at the Cliff Bay and quickly reorganized the kitchen of Il Gallo d’Oro. Four years later, his efforts paid off with a Michelin star. Distinguished dishes include: trio of lobster, asparagus and wild mushrooms; turbot fillet cured, stuffed with scallops, caviar sauce and lobster medallion; and symphony of chocolate. Il Gallo d’Oro is a formal dining room (gentlemen wear jackets) with superb ocean views.
The Cliff Bay Hotel, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Reservations: +351 291 707 700
Learn More: Il Gallo dÓro Website