We'd had such an amazing dinner at DOP restaurant in Porto, Portugal the night before, that we didn't know what we could expect of the restaurant Palco Porto at Hotel Teatro. Of course, I had looked it up beforehand, but you never know until you taste for yourself, right?
Hotel Teatro and restaurant Palco Porto
The building that now is known as the Hotel Teatro in Porto was once actually – that's right – a real theater! The Teatro Baquet was inaugurated in 1859, but closed down again after a huge fire in 1888.
Time passed but the theater wasn't forgotten and when Nini Andrade Silva was appointed with the mission to redesign the interior of the building, he stayed true to its original spirit. 122 years after the fire, the Hotel Teatro, now holding four stars, was born.
When you walk around the Hotel Teatro you’ll find references to its past in every corner. The reception looks like a box office, theater costumes are waiting for their actors in the hallways and the dim lighting makes us think that a show is about to start.
The Hotel Teatro holds 74 rooms, spread over six floors, in five different categories and although they all look fabulous (I had the privilege of receiving a small tour), there is a hierarchy they follow – just like the places in a theater.
- the Gallery rooms
- the Tribune rooms
- the Audience rooms
- the Junior Suites
- the Suite
All hotel guests are welcomed with a Port and get 10% discount at the Palco restaurant. There are free wi-fi and tea facilities in the rooms. The Hotel Teatro Porto doesn’t have its own spa, but they partner with one so that they can provide in-room massages.
Another nice touch is that guests are free to use umbrellas provided by the hotel during their stay.
Although I haven't stayed at the Hotel Teatro myself, I do think it seems like a great fit for a romantic getaway as the hotel really focuses on couples:
- there are no conference rooms, but one suite can be turned into a meeting room
- large groups aren’t allowed
- there are no extra beds for children. Families need to either book two rooms or a suite (those have a couch that can be turned into a bed)
Eating at restaurant Palco
We might not have stayed in one of those inviting rooms, we were invited by the Porto Convention Board to have dinner at the Hotel Teatro's Palco restaurant (“palco” means “stage”).
We chose to have dinner outside because it was still rather warm and because there were only a few tables there, so we thought it would be more intimate. However, the tables outside are oval shaped which makes that I was sitting a bit further from Boyfriend than I would have at a normal table.
(Funny note: there was one other couple dining in the outside area and they were also from Belgium. Actually, the only other time we heard people speaking Flemish was… at DOP restaurant!)
When we got the Palco Porto menu we had some difficulties figuring out the concept. Luckily, someone of the staff was kind enough to explain to us that we had two menus (5 courses at € 44 or 6 courses at €60) to choose from, or that we could also combine dishes from both menus (the price for each separate dish was also noted on the menu).
We decided to just have a starter, a main course and a dessert (well, I had a dessert, Boyfriend didn't). I took photos but you'll have to excuse the quality. I didn't have that great of a camera at the time and it was already dark when our food was served.
As an appetizer we were served a duo of dried tomatoes with olives and fresh cheese with chives and black pepper:
The welcome of the chef was mackerel with tomato and a combination of “Alheira” (bread and garlic sausage) wit Serra cheese (Portuguese cheese from Serra da Estrela):
After that I had cured salmon with creamy cucumber and Osetra caviar as a starter, followed by the duck breast with beetroot, carrot and spices:
For dessert I just had to go for chocolate combination:
The staff was really friendly and ready to answer any question we had. The theater themed setting of the restaurant was very warm and suited for a romantic dinner. The only thing to disrupt this a bit, I found, was that there was no separate music for the restaurant. There was a big tv screen in the bar, playing a concert, and that was the music we heard. It was something rather upbeat, experimental and didn't really fit the more relaxed ambiance of the restaurant.
The food was definitely good, but I think we would have liked it better if we hadn't eaten at DOP the night before. I think DOP had set our standards really high and we might have expected a bit too much from the Palco restaurant.
Again, the food was definitely good, but I think I would have been able to make a better judgment if we would have eaten there earlier in our trip.
Address: Rua Sá da Bandeira 84 (Right around the corner from São Bento train and subway station)
Tel: +351 22 040 9620
Where to stay in Porto
Check Booking.com for an extensive list of options for all budgets and needs.
If you prefer staying at an apartment, like we did, I recommend checking Airbnb.
As said, we were offered a complimentary dinner at the Hotel Teatro restaurant by the tourism board for Porto and the north of Portugal, but rest assured, all opinions expressed here will always be my own.