Terminal 4450

Terminal 4450 isn’t a surprise for anyone, from the best-informed foodie to the most distracted client, everyone has visited or heard about Ricardo Rodrigues’s project in the former Cruise Terminal in Leça da Palmeira.

Many words have been written, many blogs, much bustle in social media paired with a tunned cuisine, itself with the hand of Nuno Crasto (from Esquina do Avesso) and we get one of the trendiest restaurants in the city, it has even been nominated as Revelation and Trendy Restaurant in the Flavors & Senses Awards – The Best for 2016 and 2017, respectively.

But shall we write a bit more, for those not tired of reading about this Terminal? So where once worked a Bar, the entrepreneur decided to open a restaurant, which is also an “airport” where the trips end over the ocean, the Leça river, the boats, seagulls, and the many fish restaurants in Matosinhos, with a very specific plan, bringing a steakhouse to an area famous for fish.

The graphic brand and the identity of the restaurant worked by Ricardo and the designers from Another Collective were the first signs of success around the restaurant – an area that deserves and should be more worked on by Portuguese restaurants.

As I said, the idea of an airport starts in the access sleeve, goes through the bags and the check-in desk, ending at the table with the passport, aka the menu.

Installed in the wide wood tables that bring a bit of rustic to the cosmopolitan environemnt of the restaurant, and with another stamp in our passports we start another trip!

Couvert

Of the couvert, the already famous salty popcorn with a seasoning that changes on a daily basis (oregano in our last visit), and the jars, here with a simple, but good, combo of feta cheese and olives.

 Roast beef meat bread (7€)
One of the several available starters are the “bolas” (meat bread), with different fillings, here we chose the roast beef, better than in our previous visit, in which my hatred truffle oil in excess buffered all the other elements. The meat was perfectly cooked, nicely paired with elements that gave it freshness and greasiness. A good start!

Ox tartar(10€)
If we’re here to eat meat, the tartar is mandatory. Simple and competent toasts, well cut and tasty meat, despite the modest seasoning that could’ve been richer and slightly spicier, positive note to the crunchy onion and the grains of mustard.

Grilled Pork Ribs (10€)
That sinful meat, perfectly cooked, moist and well seasoned. High score to the sweat and sour sauce in contrast to a less accomplished coleslaw.

Artisanal sausages (6,5€)
Still one of the best proposals since the first time we tasted this foreign inspired dish. Good sausage, flawlessly cooked, nicely combined with potato mash and onions, giving a good game of textures and contrast of sinful flavors. High-level comfort food!

 Large Chop (36€)
In an already rich and heavy meal, we still had to go with the chop, that despite not coming from an old animal was of good quality and taste. Lacking just some notes of charcoal!

A note also the sides, usually the less accomplished elements of this Terminal 4450, where of highlight are the great fried polenta sticks and the rice with small bits of chorizo, once again revealing themselves as the right choice.

Meringue Lemon Pie (4€)
The desserts are one of Nuno Castro strengths, and where he shines the most and the presentation of this lemon pie deconstruction is a good example of that. Good texture combination, the freshness of the lemon sorbet nicely contrasting with the sweetness (in excess) of the lemon cream.

A nice ending to an already long and heavy meal!

To accompany our meal our choice wasn’t the usual red wine, but instead, the amazing Loureiro of Quinta do Ameal which 2015 harvest is particularly amazing. One of the great Portuguese whites!

As to the service, nothing to point out, young, efficient, smiley, good knowledge of the menu, attentive and caring with the client, even in a full house.

Final Remarks
Terminal is not one of those trendy restaurants where you only want to see and be seen, or where you want to be for the environment rather than the food. It’s a safe value and a wining bet by Ricardo Rodrigues after Esquina do Avesso and Sushiaria, showing the young business man has more cards to play in the restaurant scene of the city.

A restaurant with a strong brand and identity, combined with a simple cuisine, options for every taste and correct prices. It can still improve in several aspects, from the quality of the produce (already has some aged meat promising to make a difference) to small details of the room and the service, but the path is well thought and we just have to come back and taste the new menu!

 Terminal 4450
Average price: 30€ per person, without wines
Avenida Doutor Antunes Guimarães – Leça da Palmeira

+351 229 954 020

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

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