Restaurant & Bar Awards 2020

Page 22 LUX Restaurant & Bar Awards 2020 Nestled in the small town of Batalha, just south of Leiria in the centre of Portugal, lies one of the most exceptional steak and seafood cuisine restaurants that the district has to offer; Burro Velho. There, special attention is given to the fresh produce that it works with, whether it be from sea or land. The fish around Portugal’s coasts and the wider Mediterranean are nothing short of beautiful, and bringing them to the plates of discerning customers is a delight and passion for the team at Burro Velho. Mastering the consistencies alone of many types of meat requires no small amount of skill, but when coupled with herbs, spices, flavours, and sauces, there is a world of knowledge that must be gained when working with red and white meats alike. For many years, Burro Velho has strived to only work with the best products available, from all over Portugal, the Mediterranean, and the wider world. The owners at Burro Velho pride themselves on being able to source the very best fish in the world, some of which from the idyllic fishing town of Nazaré just a short half an hour drive to the western coast of Portugal from Leiria. There, the fish and shellfish alike are so beautiful and fresh that customer at Burro Velho can rest assured that they are getting the best fish that money can buy. Luxury abounds, in both the choice of fish and shellfish itself, but also in what the chefs then do with the fish upon return to the restaurant. When touring the Mediterranean, there are few things better to sample that the steak and seafood cuisine that often appears. Spices and flavours abound in the steaks, and the crystal clear waters are home to some of the world’s most delicious fish. Preparing and serving them in the right can lead to exceptional dishes of tremendous flavour; a skill at which Burro Velho is incredibly proficient. Restaurant Burro Velho Best Steak Restaurant - Leiria District & LUX Culinary Excellence Award 2020: Seafood Cuisine Becoming a restaurant that is famed for its steak and seafood is never easy, especially in the Mediterranean, where there are a wealth of other eateries doing the same thing. Steaks require an entirely different skill set to that of seafood, which speaks to the level of ability on show by the chef team at Burro Velho. Everyone comes together to ensure that every piece of meat and vegetable that leaves the kitchen is cooked to perfection. Sirloin steaks are packed full of flavour and taste, ensuring that each mouthful is a memory to be treasured forever more. Accompanied by a breadth of garlic butter, mustard, and cheese sauces, the steaks on offer at Burro Velho are nothing short of exceptional. What makes Burro Velho so special is the way in which it prepares, cooks, and serves its steaks and seafood cuisine, across every stage of its menu. Starters include codfish cheeks, tuna pate, and shrimp l’aguillo, each delicately prepared and carefully served to preserve every morsel of flavour and taste for the customer. It is not just shrimp that Burro Velho serves, as the shellfish portion of the menu so well attests to. Seafood rice dishes comprise of beautifully soft and delicate white meats, including lobster and tiger prawns, whilst the fish section includes delicacies such as octopus. Cooking octopus in a Lagareiro style is an exceptional example of Burro Velho’s expertise, boiling it before cutting it into pieces, then grilling it and brushing it with olive oil. Within the restaurant itself, there is a freezer and a selection of man-made rock pools that house fresh fish and shellfish. That feeling of being so close to live shellfish only enhances the taste of freshness on the plate. The restaurant itself at Burro Velho has been designed to be open and light, blended with bursts of red to evoke a sense of vibrancy and energy, much like the exceptional cuisine itself. When any customer enters the restaurant, the staff are immediately on hand with a friendly smile and a welcoming presence. Perhaps what it most striking about a visit to Burro Velho is that, alongside the luxury of being served by professionals, the exquisite food and drink, and the relaxed atmosphere, there is a real sense of being at home. As stunning as it is sumptuous, each meal at Burro Velho is infinitely more than just that. It is the culmination of years of experience, skill, and mastery over the meats from all across the Mediterranean. Each seafood or steak meal is a celebration of the flavours of Portugal, and the freshness of the produce from its Silver Coast. Burro Velho is exceptional, and its seafood and steak cuisine is definitely not to be missed on a visit to the Centro Region of this beautiful country. Company: Restaurant Burro Velho Contact: Bruno Monteiro