3:30 p.m., Feb. 18)
Orléans newest dining establishment a Portuguese
By Mike Beasley
The Orléans Star
must admit that Ive never been to Portugal. In fact,
before I visited Restaurante Caravela on Innes Road last
week, all I knew about Portuguese cuisine is that it is
big on seafood and my knowledge of Portuguese wine began
and ended with Mateus. Was I ever in for an education,
and a delicious one at that.
Diniz is the owner of Restaurante Caravelo
located on Innes Road next to Food Basics.
is just the latest addition to Orléans culinary
land-scape and what a welcome addition it is.
and operated by Fernando Diniz, the restaurant, which
is located beside Food Basics, offers a Taste of
Portugal that will leave you wanting to come back
again and again.
my first visit to Caravela, I deferred my menu choices
to Mr. Diniz who wisely suggested I try the garlic shrimp
and Portuguese chouriço as appetizers. Both dishes
were stunning, leaving my mouth watering for the main
course which also happens to be the most difficult
decision Ive had to make in quite some time.
it turns out, while Portugal is famous for its seafood,
it is also the birthplace of Piri-Piri chicken and something
called Alcatra, which is very popular among the residents
of the Azorean island of Terceira where Diniz is originally
is essentally a pot roast that is slow-cooked in a traditional
clay pot after marinating for 24 hours in red wine, onions
and garlic. It is served with boiled potatoes, fingerling
carrots, cauliflower and broccoli and is out of this world.
It is hard for me to even describe, it was so good. And
although they serve it with a steak knife I could easily
cut it with the edge of my spoon.
further bring out the flavour, manager and resident sommelier
Henrique Granja suggested I try the Vila Regia which was
an excellent choice.
thing you may notice when you look over Caravelas
menu is that it is devoid of any desserts. At first I
thought it was a bit odd until I saw the portion sizes.
By the time I had sopped up the last drops of juice on
my plate, the only thing I had room for was an expresso
and a traditional after-dinner aperatif called Beirao,
which provided the perfect ending to a perfect meal.
my next trip to Caravela, I plan to try the Cataplana
which is a type of seafood stew that is cooked in a special
domed vessel. The dish is native to the Algarve region
located in the southern most area of mainland Portugal.
with the theme that more is better, Chef Jose Lemos stocks
each Cataplana with chunks of lobster, crab meat, white
fish and mussels. It is the perfect dish for a twosome,
or served with the Alcatra if you and your dining companion
are particularly hungry.
course, Caravela also serves a number of other Portuguese
delicacies including cod cakes, salt cod, sea bass, grilled
octopus and squid, and the aforementioned Piri-Piri chicken
which is cooked in a special state-of-the-art oven that
cooks at an extremely high temperature and seals in all
is understandably proud of his establishment and rightfully
so. When he and his wife immigrated to Canada in 1985
he couldnt speak a word of English. His first job
was working as a labourer for a construction company owned
by a family friend. Within three years he was made foreman
and 10 years later he owned his own company, Accurate
Point Construction which specializes in watermain and
Diniz splits his time between his construction company
and the restaurant, his passion lies in providing great
food in an elegant setting.
already received serveral compli-ments from people who
have vacationed in Portugal and have told him that his
food brings fond memories of their travels, which is probably
the best complment you can give him.
very satisfying when you hear people talk so well about
your food, says Diniz. This is why I opened
the restaurant. To bring the people of Orléans
a taste of where I am from. Portuguese food is delicious.
Its very healthy and it makes you smile.
Caravela is located at 3712 Innes Rd. next to Food Basics.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
www.orleansonline.ca's main page