During our beyond fantastic stay at Belavista Hotel & Spa, we enjoyed a lovely dinner at its restaurant Vista, specialised in modern cuisine with traditional regional roots. Let me tell you something: it was fancy!
As soon as we were seated the super nice waiters brought a tray with three different kinks of bread (olives, whole wheat and onion) and another one with butter sauce, sea salt and crushed almonds. Simple yet delicious. The mixture of textures and the different levels of salt together with the sweeter touch of the almonds (and a certain aroma of cumin) made us want to eat it all. But we were good girls and just try a little bit, we wanted to have our stomachs ready for what was to come.
Before the starters came, we enjoyed a watermelon gazpacho with strawberry and basil. Fresh and sweet with a final taste of garlic, which made a nice contrast with the fruity flavours.
The starters are usually my favourite part of any meal… together with dessert, of course ;) These starters were the epitome of new modern cuisine: small, pretty and delicate. We were a bit frightened by their looks: flowers, dashes of clourful sauces, foams, crazy textures… Sometimes modern cuisine can be confusing! But with the first mouthful we forgot all superficialities and experienced an explosion of flavour.
First we had seared foie gras with exotic fruits, cocoa and citrus foam. The foie was beyond tender, it melted slowly in your mouth creating the most amazing flavour combination together with the thin cocoa sheets.
The goat cheese coated with pain d’épices was creamy and crunchy. The goat cheese itself was delicious but paired with the raisins, celery and apple remoularde and the granny smith air was simply exquisite.
I was tempted to order the crab lasagna, but I thought it could be too much. Again, I wanted to save place and taste buds for the main course…
She had turbot on the bone, capers, tagliolinni in butter emulsion and pasley essence. The fish was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The fresh pasta was cooked exactly al dente and the butter emulsion with the parsley essence added the perfect touch to turn it into a really tasty dish. But the real life changing ingredient of the plate were the capers. They were that little push that completed every single one of the elements on the plate.
I had the seared sea bass with tapenade, cherry tomato and saffron potatoes. I will just say one thing: that sea bass was a star even without the accompaniment. The tapenade and the safforn potatoes were fair with the fish: they knew he was the star, so they kept their flavours soft and discreet becoming the perfect partners. An incredibly balanced dish.
And it was time for dessert!!! They surprised us with a pre-dessert. At that moment I felt in love. Pre-dessert and dessert? They know me.
Pre-dessert: cute beetroot and orage foam shot. Not very fond of the beetroot myself, but I have to admit it was delicious. The earthy flavour of the beetroot was toned down with the sweet orange. The white cream softened the final result.
About dessert there is something that I need to say: lots of nice restaurant despise dessert, they just have something chocolate, something creamy and something fruity. Not here. Both desserts were excellent, unique and thought with care.
The restaurant offers a wide range of desserts. We had the spiced brulee with palm sugar, coffee and Frangelico textures, which was ultra creamy and light, with a perfectly roasted caramel thin layer. Outstanding subtle flavours and the right amount of sweetness, that is usually hard to achieve in a dessert made almost exclusively of sugar.
And the most amazing chocolate tart with salted caramel, pumpkin seeds and butternut squash sorbet. I have no words. Delightful, luscious, succulent… The tart dough was exquisite, crunchy and spicy. I couldn’t figure out what was the secret… so I asked. The waiter told me that it was made with pumpkin seeds. Amazing. I was shy but I wished I had asked for the recipe!
We left our hearts to the chesnut soufflé and the bitter honey cake… So I think we have to come back for them (and the crab lasagna).
With its kind service, its amazing views and its delicious food Restaurante Vista is definitely worth a visit. Even though you don’t stay at the Bela vista hotel you should treat yourself to a dinner at its incredible restaurant. They offer a nice tasting menu if you don’t want to order à la carte. One tip: book in advance!
Av.Tomás Cabreira, Praia da Rocha 8500-802, Portimão
Tel. +351 282 460 280
Email. [email protected]