Having had lunch with Dirk Niepoort and an afternoon tasting at Quinta do Bomfim, we went to dine that evening at the DOC
Rui Paula’s DOC at Folgosa, just twenty minutes along the river from Pinhao, is probably the most celebrated restaurant in the Douro.
Conde Nast Traveller says: “Supersleek and stylish, D.O.C. is part of a brand new breed of Duoro restaurants, which all seem to have opened in 2007. The hip crowd is served hip food – tradition seems to meet modernity without a problem in the kitchen. The terrace, which overlooks the river, is open late and the wine list is, of course, both long and excellent.”
When asked about new places to eat in the Douro Valley, Paul Symington has told Jancis Robinson MW: “DOC on the Regua to Pinhão road at Folgosa – very good new style cooking with lovely views of the river, in a modern building actually on the river bank. Good wine list.”
Rui Paula’s wife Christina met us on arrival and arranged a table on the wooded deck jutting out on the river. The evening sun was still bright and it was too windy for the parasols. Christina brought out sun hats. The sommelier was summoned and we were happy to leave the wines for the evening in his very capable hands provided only magnums were opened. We started with a pleasing Douro sparkling wine.
We drank Soalheiro Alvarinho with excellent grilled octopus. Several reds accompanied the roast kid and rice and the sommelier demonstrated his considerable skill with decanters.
As dusk fell, cheese and cakes were eaten and more wine drunk. I have had better meals, but the place is magical, service excellent and the wine list – a dream.
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