Príncipe Real / 30 €
confit duck risotto with chouriço and leek, noodles with mushroom ragu
Príncipe Real is one of those neighbourhoods that never ceases to impress me. This time, after a lovely recommendation from a friendly reader I found myself in this small but impressive restaurant. With just six or seven tables, it is a calm and cozy place where making a reservation is a must.
Couto has many wonders and one of such is their Chef’s Menu which includes the house classic Duck Risotto and a set of surprise dishes - currently, most of them are seafood based - for 25 euros. A more complete version of this menu is also available for 29 euros - it includes the desert as well.
I’m sure opting for a single dish, instead of the menu, would also render a wonderful meal, yet, the complete menu allows you to experience a wider range of flavours and have the complete “Couto experience”. The staff is very considerate and always available to tune the menu to the guest’s preferences as it ended up happening with me since I don’t eat seafood.
The adapted menu looked something like this: bread served with radish butter, sheep butter and a light olive oil for starters; a zucchini, lime and basil mousse with eggs of a smoked nordic fish to follow; and the best bean soup I’ve ever eaten - I don’t recall enjoying the starters of a meal so much.
For main dishes I had tomato noodles served with mushrooms, and quail’s eggs, followed by the famous duck risotto and to end with style, a beef with saffron mayonese, potatoes and cress. This was surely a meal of sophisticated, visually appealing and incredibly delicious dishes.