Let us begin by giving our readers some advice: before you sit down for your meal at Antiqvvm, take in the sublime scenery that brings the Douro so close. With the gardens of the Quinta da Macieirinha producing the perfect setting, the outdoor space of the restaurant, which, a year ago, breathed new life into the old Solar do Vinho do Porto, is incredibly romantic and welcoming. Once indoors, the work of architect Pedro Macedo and the interior design of Francisco Neves amaze visitors with a cosmopolitan, refined and above all else, comfortable environment. Wine remains one of the most special parts of this 19th century house, with a cellar and a space dedicated to tastings right at the entrance. Portuguese wines from every region, including iconic Port Wines, chosen by the expert hand of sommelier António Lopes, are presented as the best pairings for the specialities of chef Vítor Matos.
But just what is it that is so special about this Antiqvvm, for it to be heading for Michelin stars? Vítor Matos explains: «At Antiqvvm we promote a cuisine that is Mediterranean-influenced, creative and multisensory, with international touches, using the finest of fresh and authentic products». Indeed, the restaurant’s menu, ever-changing and seasonal, features various classic references to Portuguese cooking, combined with a modern je ne sais quoi. To give some examples, in the cold starters, how about From the Coast...The Crab and the Prawn, featuring crab filling with exotic fruits and water melon, moscatel and yuzo sauce and prawn tartare. In the warm starters, why not try the Tribute to Michel Van der Kroft, a dish of Serra da Estrela cheese ravioli with sage butter. In the meat, the He Fell in the Ashes brings us beef with fermented garlic and stewed oxtail with carrots and endives, while in the fish, Marine Coral presents red mullet with cauliflower and sea urchin sauce. When it’s time for dessert, relish the wonders of the VI Pudim Abade de Priscos, which includes textured passion fruit, chocolate-coconut and pine nuts.