One of our main goals during our trip to Algarve was to go to eat at Sao Gabriel in Amancil, the one star Michelin restaurant of Chef Leonel Pereira, but we learned that he had closed it to open a new concept called Check-In, in Faro. So we decided to go check out Check-in!
This new concept can be defined by three criteria:
Informal and accessible refined cuisine for all
The best seasonal ingredients and produces from Algarve and other Portuguese regions
Sustainability, to manage and caliber the food waste.
We actually had to walk through a kind of run down and funky area of Faro to find the place, but once inside we had a warm welcome by our host Delfim João and the sommelier, Victor.
The menu is divided in five categories :
Cooked in Pot “Snacks”
Special Moments “Snacks”
For Check-in “Snack” we chose the salmon tartar with capers, celery, “buddha's hand” cider, ginger and dry squid oil, and Foie gras sauté (1 unit of 80g.) quince compote and shimeji mushrooms. Both dishes were amazing, incredible flavorful and perfectly cooked.
For the Cooked in Pot “Snacks” we selected the tuna belly “Portuguese style” with potatoes, onions, olives and pickles, and the Secretos of Iberian pork with prawns and Padron peppers. Once again it was wonderfully prepared and cooked.
The best dish was without a doubt his signature dish from his Sao Gabriel days: Squid and crayfish with black ink risotto. This dish was a knock-out in terms of flavors and textures, every ingredient was so tasty and masterfully cooked. Amazing. Even better than the risottos we used to have at Aoko Maoki, a French restaurant with a Japanese chef, that used to be near the Champs-Elysées in Paris and is now closed (unfortunately).
We finished our dinner with a light and tasteful Check-Out “Snacks”: Greek yogurt and cottage cheese mousse, vanilla violet ice cream.
The wine list was concise and well sourced, but we recommend that you let Victor, the expert sommelier, guide you through it as we did.
The service by Delfim João and Victor was smooth and instructive.
We really enjoyed the new concept by Leonel Pereira and his team. The setting is modest but the cooking is ambitious and good. Most of all, the chef and his team make it worth the trip. So come to check out “Check-In” this cozy, warm and delicious place. You won’t regret it.
Ave Da Republica 40
Tel : +351 968 070 776
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