DINNER AT GUSTO, CONRAD ALGARVE

Earlier this week I blogged about my recent stay at the Conrad Algarve (post here) and I briefly mentioned our meal at the hotels Michelin-star restaurant; Gusto by Heinz Beck – I wanted to do a separate review on the meal as we had a seven course fine dining meal which was absolutely exquisite! I also took so many snaps of the meal I thought it was only right to compile a drool-worthy post! 
The restaurant is Mediterranean with Scandinavian inspired design which actually pays homage to Conrad Hilton’s father Augustus. Heinz Beck is a world renowned ‘master’ of gastronomy, and has based the menu on the finest local & international ingredients. The restaurant really was impeccable and every little attention to detail had been well thought out and implemented.
When we arrived at the restaurant we were greeted by some lovely, lovely staff and we opted for a table inside – even though it would have been better outside for pictures, it tended to get a little windy in the evening and we didn’t want to get too cold. After browsing the menu we were recommended the tasting menu, it came in either 5 or 7 courses – we opted for the 7 courses as the 5 courses didn’t come with Sea bass and Amy had never tried it before, I knew this would probably be the best Sea bass we’ll ever eat so we went for the 7 courses!
Each course came with a separate glass of wine as each wine was hand picked for the flavours in each dish, our connoisseur was so knowledgeable about every single wine (all of wine was from Portugal and some of the best wines I’ve ever tried!) which was so interesting to learn something about picking wine! Every dish was explained to us by the waiting staff as well, they always told us why each ingredient had been hand picked to go with the next and the food was honestly out of this world!

To start with we were bought out a selection of breads and some oil and pepper to dip it into which was a lovely start to the meal! The chef sent over a couple of extras for us to try as compliments including a delicious citrus shot!

Our first course was ‘Amberjack tartar with almond tofu‘ – I’ve never tried tofu before but I really like this dish, it was really light and tasty too. It was served with a beautiful crisp Portuguese wine to wash it down with. From the first course I was so impressed with the incredible presentation!

Next up was ‘White asparagus on topinambur cream and strawberry‘ which was probably one of the most delicious combinations, ever! I was sceptical of this dish at first as I just kept thinking this probably really shouldn’t taste nice together but oh. my. god it was amazing! I’m definitely going to try this combination at home (although I know it won’t taste anything like this!).

Our third starer (how mental is that?!) was ‘Tonno Tonnato – their master chef dish’ which was a delicious taster of tuna. I wasn’t keen on the ‘jelly’ (definitely not the correct word for it!) that it was served with so this dish was probably my least favourite but the tuna itself was cooked beautifully! As ever, the wine selected for each course was absolutely divine!

Our next course was ‘Fagotelli Carbonara’ aka the best carbonara I’ve ever eaten! This pasta was simply exquisite – there is no other word to describe it! Cheese and bacon pasta will never be the same to me after eating this dish! The waiter explained to us the best way to eat it is eat each parcel whole and ensure it doesn’t break so the full flavour explodes in your mouth as you bite into it and boy he wasn’t wrong! We both absolutely loved this dish and didn’t want it to end!

Our second main course was ‘Sea bass with liquorice crust, spring vegetables and herbs snow‘ – I have to admit this was the best sea bass that I’ve ever eaten, the liquorice crust was really unique and not normally something I would have thought to go well with the dish but it really was amazing! It was Amy’s first experience and she absolutely loved this dish too – I’m sure no sea bass experience will never be the same for her now!

Our last savoury dish was ‘Veal filled with onions, dried fruit, pistachio crust and stewed radicchio‘ – I’ve never eaten veal before but this was something else entirely! I absolutely loved everything about this dish, it just seemed to work so perfectly together and it was essentially the best ‘roast’ I’ve ever had! The gravy was beautiful and went so well with the veal – another amazing dish!

For dessert we had some chocolate cake which was much like a brownie with some yummy ice cream, this dish was so delicious and the perfect end to our meal! It was served with some beautiful dessert wine which was really sweet but just seemed to round our meal off perfectly!

This was probably one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten and every single dish was absolutely spot on from flavours, ingredients, and presentation to the wine it was served with! I honestly cherished every moment of it and me and Amy practically rolled ourselves back to the hotel room both feeling very content after lots of delicious food (and wine!). A huge thank you to the incredibly talented chefs who cooked our meal and the staff who were so knowledgable and fought us things about wine and ingredients we will never forget!

What do you think your favourite dish would have been?

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