Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chiado - Groupon Tasting Menu

Rich and I were recently discussing how it had been quite a while since we had dined at our favourite high-end Portuguese restaurant. Chiado is known for its vast and varied selection of seafood, having a fresh batch of fish flown in daily from Portugal.  The server brings out the daily choices on a platter and describes each one in great detail.

It seemed quite serendipitous that the very next day, I spotted a Groupon offering a five course tasting menu for two at Chiado for a mere $79.  The tasting menu was created specifically for the Groupon special since there was no equivalent offering on the menu.  This was a great way to try a variety of dishes and was too good a deal to pass up.

The first course was a moist slab of cheese made of cow's milk, served with a drop of honey and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and rosemary.

The next three courses offered a choice and it was hard to select since they all sounded so good.  For our second course, I chose a delicious grouper carpacio with white asparagus and pine nuts, while Rich picked the grilled sardines with bell peppers and red onion.

 Rich's third course consisted of pan roasted monk fish in piri-piri sauce sitting on a bed of navy beans.  I was tempted by the monk fish but really don't like hard beans so I chose instead the seared scallop on a puree of celeriac and a port wine reduction.  My scallop was tasty but nothing I hadn't had before.. Rich's fish was delicious and I regretted not getting this - I guess could have just left the beans.

Our fourth course was another tough decision between pan-roasted skate with a lemon coriander risotto and tyle fish, which was described to us as the wing of a sting ray served on garlic mash with a tomato/jalapeno salsa on a bed of garlic mash potato and crisply steamed vegetables.  Both main courses were perfectly cooked and flavourful.  I would have preferred the risotto that came with Rich's skate but enjoyed having vegetables with my more exotic tyle fish.

Our dessert course was an assorted sampler which included a tangy blueberry cheesecake, a chocolate fudge cake, and an interesting Portuguese specialty called a "molotov" made with sugar and egg white, with the consistency of a wet meringue.

Rich selected the wine pairing option which was surprisingly inexpensive at $5 per glass.  His final drink to accompany dessert was a special Portuguese tawny port that cannot be found at the LCBO.  It was so delicious that I ordered a glass for myself.

A great meal at a great price ... who could ask for anything more!  I will be on the lookout for other Groupon opportunities.

864 College St West

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