Food Lifestyle

Terra Nova – the new pearl of Porto

December 2, 2017

The most difficult part when writing a story is always the beginning. The first two lines. You have so much to say, but saying too much will not tell everything.

Porto is a city with a very distinguishing spirit – both classical and modern. Its settlement dates back many centuries as it was an outpost of the Roman Empire but outside the historic heart, its seaside suburbs are home to world-class contemporary architecture and cuisine. As part of exploring the soul of the city we need more than to see with our eyes. We need to feel. We need to smell. We need to taste. And an important stage of exploring Portugal’s food capital is to get to know the local cuisine and traditions with all of your senses. This post will reveal the true spirit of Porto’s finest dining environment where traditions and modernity blend together to create an immersive experience which will trigger your sensorium.

Ladies and gentlemen, we present you Terra Nova – ‘the new pearl of Porto’.

Named after the large Canadian island Newfoundland (also known as the “Island of the Cod”) where most of the world’s delicious cod fish comes from, the restaurant has gained a reputation of a cozy and authentic full-service venue where locals and tourists enjoy the city views together. With a perfect location under the bridge of Rio Douro (which was designed by Gustave Eiffel – fascinating isn’t it?) it shares the authentic and lively spirit of the city. Let’s have a look around the place.

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The theme really emphasizes on sea elements – mixture of blue and white colors with wooden components. The shape of the venue resembles the form of a ship – long and narrow. In that sense, it also consists of two decks – lower and upper. On the second floor you can find the ‘captain’s table’ with its incredible view of the river through the porthole of the ship.

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The staff members also play a specific role in the theme as having ‘ranks’ rather than the casual positions in the company. How cool is that? ‘two portions of oysters, captain’ – when being called chef is too mainstream!

The menu offers unimaginable combinations of seafood dishes that perfectly match the theme of the venue. The talented ‘captains’ put a lot of effort behind every plate with unique presentation of the food that would turn your phone’s camera ON and upload some amazing pictures with #foodporn #foodgasm on your Instagram account.

We began with some usual apetizers for this place –  homemade baked rolls wth different flavours, ‘azeitonas pretas’, a soft sliced baguette and some smoked butter. And the best thing was the “Quinta da Rede Reserva” white wine  – a fruity, fresh, pleasant mouth volume with good persistence finaland from the LBV Taylors Port.

And not to forget this delightful eye candy – cone, scone and tartar.

We continued with two portions of oysters and cooked sardines on top of red peppers. An impornant detail of the Portuguese cuisine is the national aromatic herb coriander, which is most likely to be found on fish or chicken and even as addition in green salads.


NOTE:  You should check their bestseller “Massada de Bacalhau” made with fresh homemade pasta and a 4 tomato sauce. Click HERE for a delightful food gallery.


They say great oysters are delicious “naked” but in Terra Nova they wouldn’t mind putting some red caviar on them that pops in your mouth. This perfect combination leaves a fresh briny overtaste. Doesn’t it look like jewels from an alien planet?

Now pay attention, because this plate is the main reason you should be here! This cooked cod fish with steamed broccoli and a roll of mashed potatoes is the “captain’s trade mark”. You can recognize if a cod is well prepared by the way the meat layers slightly separate when you press them. And who wouldn’t love some roasted-cut almonds on top?

Apart from seafood, all the meat lovers can also enjoy the delicious duck dish, which soon will be on the menu. You can choose whether to be raw cooked, medium-rare or well done and it comes with delicious cheese, lying in a  shredded leek-mushroom bed, topped with nuts and Portugal’s favourite baby coriander.

 

After the initial courses, we finished with a fine desert and glass Port wine. This is how they call the fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is typically a sweet, red wine, and is usually served with a dessert. To enjoy the most out of the moment under the sunset – take a sip.

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When the night came down, the atmosphere felt even more romantic. The bright sun was exchanged with the urban city lights that were lightening up the streets. People were sitting outside, enjoying the fresh breeze and drinking wine in the silence of the night.

 

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  “All the city lights looked delicate and frail as though they might suddenly float away from their lampposts like balloons.” (E. Enright).

Were we there to eat or to feel? Everything was done with so much effort and love. We sneaked behind the kitchen, spoke with the chefs and observed their work. Those people showed us how important it is to put your soul in what you do. That night we found the passion behind the plates. We felt hospitality and that strong bond between the staff. The manager was able to create the ‘family’ spirit at work which we experienced that night – tied up to the true heartiness of Porto. And we left a piece of ourselves there.

To all the staff of Terra Nova – “Thank you!”.

 

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