Casa D’Oro

On the former observation spot created by Edgar Cardoso to accompany the construction of the Arrábida Bridge, lives since 2005 the restaurant Casa d’Oro, a space recreated by Miguel Tomé that has as owner the Italian Maria Paola Porru (from the restaurants Casanostra and Casanova in Lisbon). The building is divided in two spaces, the Pizzeria that occupies the top floor and the restaurant on the floor below, decorated in a simple way, keeping the industrial design that characterizes the building. We visited the Pizzeria several times before (it once was the best in town), but we had never been to the restaurant, so we decided to make a visit.

The menu presents a trip to very traditional plates from Italy and some Portuguese adaptations, it is also possible to go for a pizza, but (sadly) this time we decided to go for the rest.

Carpaccio with Truffles (12€)
The truffles have an important place in the restaurant’s menu, being present in several dishes. Here represented by a piece of canned summer truffle. A simple dish and a well prepared meat. The truffle was unnecessary.

 Breaded Taleggio (5,5€)
An Italian cheese of semi-soft texture well breaded and very well fried. Served with jam, rocket, and an immense balsamic reduction. A well prepared dish, with good flavor, although the balsamic didn’t bring anything relevant to the dish.

Penne Marinara, Prawn, clams and mussels (11€)
The pasta was cooked on spot, with the shellfish a bit overcooked. The sauce had little of the classic marinara, a sauce rich in tomato, here it was much oilier. A dish that leaves no memory, at the level of what a college student cooks to surprise his friends. Basic.

Ossobuco, Risotto Alla milanese (14€)
I missed a good ossobuco so I had to choose this dish, for my sins. Everything was wrong, the meat was still tough, the gremolata was replaced for some parsley and the risotto was the worst I was ever served. That rice seemed like an undone arancini (risotto croquette), with no creaminess, soggy and filled with cheese. Sadly, one of the worst dishes I tasted lately.

Panna Cotta (4€)
My favorite Italian dessert, here in a tolerable version, too much gelatin and a very sweet combination.

The wine list is small, with some Portuguese and Italian references, but with inadequate prices for the provided service. We went for a Quinta do Vallado Branco (11€), that was the promotion of the day, served almost at room temperature in a bucket with almost no ice.

The apparent sympathy and relaxation of the room employees betray a lot of flaws in an inadequate service to the space and the practiced prices.

Final Remarks
If once Casa D’Oro was one of the main marks of the Italian cuisine in Porto, today it’s in a descendant level and in need of serious improvements. A restaurant is not only made of nice decorations, or in this case of nice views, it is necessary that the food and the service go along and overlap all the rest, which here is far from happening. The Pizzeria may still be worth it, but if the point is to go to the rest of the Italian cook book, the best is to choose another restaurant, among the many options in town.

Casa D’Oro
Rua do Ouro, nº 797 Porto
22 610 6012.

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