Travel

L’AND. Friends, you really don’t have to try this at home!

L'AND

Lunches at our friends’ places are certain. More than cooking, it’s about the long talks and the will to be with each other. So you kill two birds with one stone: longing and hunger. And we always go back home with a happy stomach, regardless if we ate meat or fish, if we had red or white wine. Or even beer.

So I hope my friends will forgive me for describing the lunch I had with Miguel Laffan. Next time I’m at your place, do not feel obliged to provide me with the best lobster that has ever touched my lips, or with a dessert inspired by a mythical record by, say, The Beatles, leaving us as surprised as the songs of our lives!

 

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Miguel Laffan is a good friend. Besides being a great chef, he is also curious and I understand some of his points. The whole idea of drinking mainly white wine, for instance. This surely has something to do with the fact that he worked in Burgundy for some time —Burgundy’s great white wines are remarkable indeed! Miguel is also an extraordinary professional, one of the best Portuguese chefs of his generation. It is because of him that Montemor and the restaurant L’AND Vineyards were awarded the first-ever Michelin star to be found in the Alentejo. He took me there the other day, in order to help me understand the miraculous workings behind invention and inspiration, some special ingredients and the best produce in the region. His only commitment: “never settle for nothing but the best”.

 

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My good friends, really, you don’t have to get into this sort of trouble. We’re totally fine with those codfish, fishy pasta and cabidela (rabbit blood stew) dishes we eat once in a while. Your lunches are also sublime, astonishing and capable of educating the senses; each new dish laughing at our face while saying “See? Have you realized what you are eating now?”. The lunch at L’AND was truly magnificent, rich in flavors and textures, and far easier to remember than to describe with this keyboard. But let’s give it a go and start things off with the tasting menu.

Appetizer

Head cheese (Cabeça de Xara) with crawfish, ginger and lime tartar.

 

Dish #1

Duck dumpling, foie gras snow and stew gravy

 

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Dish #2

Red Denia Prawn in Vicentina style fish soup

 

Dish #3

Blue Lobster with citric beurre blanc and fennel salad

 

Dish #4

Iberian pork top loin (Presa), celery-root, sweet garlic and parsley purée

 

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Dish #5

Iberian pork top loin (Presa), celery-root, sweet garlic and parsley purée

 

Dessert #1

Chocolate and chili, warm spices and orange blossom foam

 

Dessert #2

Lychee in the Sky with Diamonds – Lychee, yogurt and pear ice cream.

 

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Yes, we literally wrapped up our meal with this pearl called Lychee in the Sky with Diamonds, a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the mythical Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band record! Extraordinary. We have to break it with a spoon in order to discover the cream that hides inside. So delicious. I recorded a video because I was sure no one would take my word for it.

 

 

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Chama-se Lichie in the Sky with Diamonds. No outro dia acabei assim no L'AND Vineyards do grande Miguel Laffan, com esta sobremesa em homenagem aos 50 anos do mítico Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Está-se mesmo a ver que vou ter que escrever sobre isto! 🙂

Publicado por Diogowinemaker em Quinta-feira, 8 de Junho de 2017

 

And all of this takes place in a beautiful room with a fabulous view over the property. L’AND was conceived as a boutique hotel that allows the visitor to connect with the surrounding landscape. Skylights in every suit, perfect for stargazing, and a lot of wonderful details to be found at the restaurant. This is one of the best options if you’re looking for a gastronomical getaway in the Alentejo. And just 45 minutes from Lisboa.

 

PS: Me and Miguel are burgundy guys, so we decided to stick to white wine. Of course we did!