Casa Inês

casaines - 1 The history of Casa Inês is recent, born in 2012 after a dissidence among the heirs of the mythical Casa Aleixo next to the Campanhã Train Station.

If 50 years ago, the father, Ramiro, made the hake fillets famous (which he daily chose in Póvoa do Varzim) and the octopus fillets accompanied by octopus rice, it was Inês who assured, after his death, her father’s recipes and family tradition wouldn’t be lost, from the room of Aleixo she went to the kitchen and kept working the same way she always saw her father work.

A hard work defending the tradition that nowadays, after 40 years, still exists, just the number of the door changed, and of course, the name, 1st Inês do Aleixo and then Casa Inês, remaining faithful to the maltreated region of Campanhã, two steps away of the station that once connected Porto to the world.

casaines - 2And this is the way we feel entering her restaurant, at home! Warm greetings and a unique sympathy of the Northern people, Germano (Inês’ husband) is the cicerone, used to read the clients and their wishes, a menu is almost unnecessary.

Of the decoration there’s not much to say, it’s the typical restaurant of Porto, with the granite walls and wood chairs, with old images of the city filling the walls, but well, nobody comes here for glamour or cosmopolitanism.

casaines - 8Alheira balls, sweet & sour pumpkin

After a good Avintes corn bread, the starters arrived at the table. Starting with these alheira balls, not a very traditional format of selling alheira and certainly the most “modern” dish of the menu. Flawless frying and delicate filling, in a good combination with the sweet and sour (it could even be more intense). A good omen to what would come next!

casaines - 7 Codfish cakes, friar bean salad 
This is one of my favorite comfort dishes, too bad nowadays is so hard to eat good codfish cakes (not to speak about the crimes committed in a trendy place at the capital). But that doesn’t happen at Casa Inês, small and nicely fried cakes, light and fluffy, with the right amount of potato and codfish. The salad was also on point, with the accurate quantity of vinegar.

casaines - 6Petingas in a marinade
A delicious classic that we want to eat endlessly while the bread cleans the sauce off the plate. Correct textures and the good flavor of the peppers and onions on the spotlight. In terms of vinegar, the sauce was right for 99% of the guests, for me it could’ve been even more alive.

casaines - 5Octopus Fillet with octopus rice (15€)
On to the first dish, arrives at the table the famous octopus fillet. Here we see, once again, the way Inês and her team perfectly dominate the frying, with a golden batter, without a trace of oil. Tender octopus, of excellent quality, accompanied with a loose rice, made with the water of the cooking of the octopus and its little tentacles. Many would love to see a “malandro” rice accompanying the fillet, but here is how it’s going to be, and for my delight! Perfect!

casaines - 4Roasted Veal, roasted potato, greens and white rice (16€)
If it is condition Sine qua non the frying technique is nearly perfect, it seems that the domain of the oven temperatures doesn’t fall behind, the veal was flawless, full of flavor, succulent and so tender we could eat it with a spoon (and no, it wasn’t cheek).

casaines - 3French Toast and Angel hair 
If up to this point there are clients, who for any reason (even chronic dissatisfaction), still not convinced of the quality of Casa Inês, when the Angel Hair comes, anyone rises up to heaven! Creamy, with the right ratio of egg, no excess sugar, with the pasta on spot. For sure the best I ate outside my house (probably of my house too, but I always like to think of myself as a good cook!).

With the French Toast we come back to Earth, with a crunchy coat and a moist interior full of sin and flavor.

Yes, at Casa Inês is Christmas every day!

The Service is adequate to the space, delicate and genuine, making us feel at home, in family, while delighting ourselves with good comfort food.

Final Remarks
Casa Inês was one of the fair nominees for Traditional Restaurant at the “Flavors & Senses – The best for 2015” Awards, being worthy of much more than that title over the many years of work. The almost Asian way it is dedicated to do, on a daily basis, half a dozen dishes, makes them masters on it, from the cooking and frying, through the oven, and of course, the quality of the products, everything is executed to detail. Admittedly, it  is not an accessible restaurant or one to go every day (the scales don’t allow that!), but here you don’t pay just for a dish, you pay for a life committed to a tradition, history and excellent quality ingredients. And that, taking in account the current restaurant scene is rare, very rare!

This is, for sure, one of the places not to miss by those wanting to “eat Porto”!

Casa Inês
Rua de Miraflor, 20 – Porto
225 106 988

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses 

The described meal was offered by Casa Inês, whereas this not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author.

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