There are still spaces like this, off the beaten track, which catch us totally off guard! We start conferring with fellow foodies & winelovers and the hint pops out, in this case without first hand knowledge just hear say, but trust your sources and this risky game sometimes is immensely rewarding!
I am talking about the restaurant Quinta de São Luiz, located in Pereira and housed in a multi-purpose space that shares the name and team.
Just before leaving we had an inside tip from one of the staff members of our hotel - the menu benefited from Henrique Sá Pessoa consulting and the head chef, Hélio Santos, had extensive experience gained in the Quinta das Lágrimas group, expectations began to rise...
We hit the road away from Coimbra, and 16km later we are in Pereira, a location that would have little to offer the tourist, if it wasn't for this little hidden gem.
About the exterior nothing to report. Upon entering we noticed that there is fine investment involved, exhibiting good taste and ambition. The space is impeccably decorated and no effort has been spared in order to offer enjoyable moments. "Dressed" to charm!
The kitchen is safe but inventive. Great balance on the menu, with fresh and light dishes, perfectly seasoned, full of flavour, appealing textures and masterfully executed. A special note to the twist on the region's classic dish, the suckling pig, which was rolled in its own skin after being deep fried separately to assure extra crispness, creating a perfect texture on your palate.
Taking in regard the quality of what we have eaten, along with the wine pairing, in our view this place offers excellent value for money and we will revisit for sure.
Beautiful wine list with excellent selection, good proposals by the glass, very well organized and enriched with brief but precise descriptions along each reference, very well supported by the impeccable professionalism and knowledge showed by the sommelier Nuno Jorge.
This kind of project needs to be supported, needs to be full every night, needs to be disclosed. Next time you pass by Coimbra be sure to make the detour to Pereira and visit the restaurant at Quinta de São Luiz, you will not regret it.