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- Tried & Tested
Our dinner, October 2016
My fiancé and I informed ourselves about the dining outlets available at the Conrad Algarve, where we stayed in October 2016. We saw there was Gusto by Heinz Beck, who is a three Michelin stared chef at La Pergola at the Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and wanted to try it, so we booked a table.
Gusto isn’t mentioned in the Michelin guide, but it counts as one of the best restaurants in the country and has been awarded 5 Diamonds.
When exploring the hotel we found the restaurant, but it had closed. We were a bit curious, so we had a look through the glass door, where employees were already busy. They saw our interest and allowed us in. It was a nice touch.
Later we returned for a visit to the bar. The mixologist is one of the best and award winning.
We chose from the “Avenue of the Stars” cocktail list. It is based on films, which have an association with Hilton, in our case the Hilton Chicago. One was the Moonlightning inspired by “Little Fockers” and the other the Touch Down by “Express Ernie Davies Story”. One was served with a smoked salt ream. When the salt came in contact with the liquid it made the composition perfect. The other was served like a Tiki cocktail. Both were outstanding. When the mixologist heard we were having later dinner at Gusto, he took our room number and promised the cocktails would be charged with the meal, so we didn’t have to sign for two. That’s good customer service.
We changed for dinner and returned to the restaurant.
There was a dramatic change. During the day it was bright and airy; at night sexy, dark and otherworldly with many globe lampshades. The interior and cuisine were postmodern.
The staff couldn’t have been more attentive, warm and concerned about our well-being during the whole dinner.
Fellow diners were two families, a small group and couples.
We were brought to our table by the maître d’ and handed the drink and wine menu.
We knew most of the waters on offer, so we chose a Portuguese one we hadn’t tried before. It was called Vimeira. We liked it.
The amouse-bouche and greetings from the kitchen were Parmesan cheese, saffron sauce, goats cheese meringue, parsley biscuit with oyster mayonnaise and cracker.
Our appetizers were tuna and beetroot Carpaccio on wasabi and beetroot mayonnaise and marinated fois gras on cantucci cream, moscatel desetubal jelly, salted cocoa crumbles and raspberry meringue.
The main courses were risotto with apple, fois gras and amaretti biscuits and cod fish cooked in garlic olive oil, sautéed beans with tomato confit and soy, bean foam and parsley snow.
The desserts were Lampone 1.1 (eleven textures of raspberry including fresh, dry, pearls, crystalized, cremoso, jelly, white puffed raspberry chocolate, meringue of raspberry, hazelnut raspberry sponge, rock raspberry sugar and raspberry sorbet) and choco passion with passion fruit ganache, cocoa sable, sponge of Cuore de Guanaja, sphere of chocolate semi freddo and passion fruit sorbet.
He had a glass of late harvest dessert wine from 2011 Outono de Santar Vindima Tardia Dao.
Petite Fours were served with the bill, which included chocolate with caramel, blueberry jelly, marshmallows and lemon macaroon.
The meal counts among the best we ever had so far and reaffirms to us that Heinz Beck and his team of chefs around the world remain in the forefront of fine dining experiences. The dishes were complicated; the flavors were bursting and the combinations worked well together.
The risotto was a new creation, it was outstanding and different, so my fiancé was asked for feedback.
As promised our cocktails were with our dinner combined on the bill, which was 208.50 Euro, ca. 245.90 USD.
In our opinion it was good value for money and should we visit the Algarve again we would return to this beautiful restaurant.
Would we recommend this restaurant to a friend? YES!
Would we want in our future to enjoy dinner again at this restaurant? YES!
Thank you and safe travels.