He’s the sort of chef that could easily have 1 or 2 Michelin stars if he put his mind to it but I suspect he might find that a little constricting with the other elements that goes with obtaining stars.
We have eaten here before when we visited Évora and again twice as we feel it is so good. The last two times we have just put ourselves in his hands. He tells us what he has from the market, asks us what we like and asks us to trust him. I can honestly say we have never been disappointed in any of the dishes. We are not even sure how many dishes he is going to give us. The last time I experienced this type of service was in a very expensive 2 star Michelin in Belgium.
Do not let the lack of external presence put you off as it’s inside where the magic really happens. In fact, the facade is the sort of place you would just walk past. Please do not let this deceive you!
Whilst we are vegan I must stress this is not a vegan restaurant. The menu is mainly made up of a number of interesting fish and meat dishes and I think Jorge humours us with our veganism and sees it as a challenge for him.
So to eat. We had an amuse bouche of Violet kale, Zucchini, kidney bean puree and a hint of ginger. Obviously, this was a small dish but it was clear a lot of thought and effort had gone into it.
Next, we had a 3 beet salad that included dried fruits such as figs, cranberries, goji berries with lemon zest, a hint of lavender, mint and lots of interesting greens. The greens were all locally sourced and with some exotic.
Simple wild chanterelles were next. They were fried in olive oil and garlic garnished with a smoky salt that he has specially prepared for him, and a quirky touch of some zest.
Then we had eggplant tempura with a pureed special pumpkin called okadhio flavoured with vanilla plus 4 kinds of hummus with bases as beetroot, chickpea, seaweed and sweet potato. All were delicious.
The beetroot was so good my partner asked for another portion that Jorge was happy to oblige and he also paired it with more of the pumpkin purée which was also her favourite.
Next, we had some vegan cheese that is locally homemade and the 2 we had were delicious. The curry-flavoured walnut “cheese” had a good kick and the soya-based one was flavoured with truffle and peppercorn was a bit more subtle.
For dessert roasted quince with cacao, cinnamon and an unusual mix of some herb absinthe to balance the sweetness. A perfect combination.
The wine we had was a red Perescuma No1 Reserve 2017 that I had not come across before. It was a beautiful drink, complex and extremely moreish.
As I said at the start of this review, I suspect Jorge isn’t doing this for the money. If he was, he has the skill to be in a top restaurant in Lisbon or on the Algarve or maybe even open a different kind in Évora. No, his pleasure comes from seeing the delight his creations have on his customers. You can feel his joy when you tell him how unusual the dish was, how the combination of flavours was pretty unique or how the textures complemented each other.
Momentos? The memory of such a fantastic meal and the simple leaving comment from Jorge? Thank you for liking my food. I think that’s enough and I haven’t even mentioned the old-school record player and vinyl that you can choose as your soundtrack to accompany your meal. Ours? Frank Sinatra and Nina Simone. You can guess the tracks!
If you would like to reserve a table with Jorge then please call +351 925 161 423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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