Portugal Carnival Dinner
Bailliage of Algarve
Almancil, February 25, 2020
Reliving the Roaring 20's
" Anything is possible at Carnival time! "

Members and guests gathered at Restaurant Aquarelle in Almancil to celebrate “Carnival 2020” and the new 20’s decade with a themed dinner from the Roaring 20’s.

Suitably attired, the ‘flappers and gangsters’ from the exciting frivolous years of Prohibition and excess in the last century gathered to enjoy a welcome drink of sparkling bubbles Praça Palácio de Marquese from Bairrada.

Would any of the celebrities of that era such as Josephine Baker famous for her banana skirt, Marlene Dietrich with her deep voice, gangster Al Capone or Bonny and Clyde be joining the group? Anything is possible at Carnival time!

Loris Verganista and his chef Manuel Farla had created a menu inspired by the sentiments and innovations of that famous era.

An amuse-bouche served with Casa Santa Eulalia Sauvignon Blanc 2018 cleansed the palate. Dinner began with tuna tartare was partnered with Chardonnay Adega Mãe 2018 from the Douro. Pan-seared foie gras accompanied with pumpkin chutney and a balsamic glaze followed with a red Douro wine, Aneto Colheita Tardia 2013.

Lively 1920’s music played by the Cool Manouche Gypsy Jazz Band with Betty M tempted many to the dance floor to display their Charleston moves. In the background throughout the evening strains of “Sweet Georgia Brown” and other classics entranced us.

The main course of herb-crusted lamb, celeriac purée and mint sauce with a Nieport Dialogo 2018, again from the Douro region, was an excellent pairing. Panna cotta and raspberry with a glass of Kopke fine ruby Port ended the meal.

During a short intermezzo, Dr Jean Ferran, Bailli Provincial of South of the Tagus, thanked the kitchen brigade and front of house staff for such an enjoyable evening. He presented them with a souvenir of the Bailliage’s visit.

Live music plus historic overtones and the decorated restaurant enhanced the evening giving it a special elegance. Will the new decade of the 2020’s be as exciting and bring as much innovation, in gastronomic terms too, as the previous one had in the 20th century? Who knows!

This event, as with all Chaîne events, generated funds to support Chaîne charities including the Cookery School in Évora for children from underprivileged backgrounds.

Valerie Lantau
Vice-Chargée de Presse