Enoteca 1756 (Porto) Review

Enoteca 1756 is located right on the banks of the Douro river, facing Porto’s old town, in Vila Nova de Gaia. The vibe feels very upscale. You walk in and are immediately impressed by the grandness of the environment. A cigar lounge, a cheese room, and elegant bar greet you as you walk in. The vaulted ceilings give you the feeling of luxury matching the prices of the food. The location has so much promise, unfortunately for us, it was a cloudy day and our reserved outdoor table didn’t materialize. We were shoved into a high top table next to the bar with a dozen loud strangers standing by the bar drinking, bumping into our table and generally ruining the lovely ambiance of Enoteca 1756 for us, more so than the rest of the guests, because we have a large pillar blocking us from the rest of the restaurant.

Enoteca Bar. Photo by @O.SaeLim

Despite the issues with our reservation and being relegated to possibly the worst table in the restaurant, we ordered enough for a large family to try as many parts of the menu as possible.

Binchotan Toro Nigiri. Photo by @O.SaeLim

The food was delivered at a good pace. Our order of Binchotan Toro Nigiri was delivered quickly. The melt-in-your-mouth toro was definitely a highlight of the evening. After a rocky start, things were looking brighter.

The Toro was followed up with Wagyu Tacos and Romando New Style Sashimi. The Wagyu tacos tasted alright. The meat quality was good, but using Wagyu for tacos and simply chopping it up, garnishing it, and covering it with lime doesn’t do good Wagyu justice. While it tasted okay, it felt like it didn’t do justice to either tradition of Tacos or Wagyu.

Romando New Style Sashimi. Photo by @O.SaeLim

The Romando New Style Sashimi is a mix of Tuna, Salmon, Sea Bass and Scallops. The presentation was simple but clean. I’m not a huge fan of Sea Bass, but I may have discovered a new respect for it from this dish. I think it was the best quality of the four sashimi types on the dish. The Salmon, Tuna and Scallops were average though.

Wagyu Tacos. Photo by @O.SaeLim

We also tried the Chef’s mini pizzas based on other reviews we read. The mini pizzas felt like flatbread with some melted toppings on them. The texture was nice and the flavor was good. But I am not sure I would call it pizza. Not a bad bite, but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way for them.

The final appetizer we ordered was the Tuna Carpaccio. This decadent dish was Tuna, covered with Foie Gras and Truffles. They provided a table side service to mix it all together like a fancy tartar.

Tuna Carpaccio with Foie Gras and Truffles. Photo by @O.SaeLim

The Tuna Carpaccio was another highlight of the meal. It delivered a fatty tuna flavor mixed with rich Foie Gras and umami Truffle. It might have been slightly over salted, but it was a bright ending to the appetizers we ordered.

The main course we ordered was the Ribeye steak. A pricey €56 500g steak that should be a highlight at any restaurant.

The Ribeye looked nice and photographed well. Unfortunately, it wasn’t cooked well. The reason to order a Ribeye steak is the delightful amounts of fat that add so much flavor and richness to it. The steak was delivered lukewarm, at best, it felt like it may have been sitting in the kitchen too long. The usually tender fat that melts into your bites had hardened and became inedible. It’s never a great sign when you’re spitting parts of a steak into your napkin because you simply can’t chew or swallow them.

We were excited to look at the dessert menu before the meal started, but by the end of the dinner, we felt neglected by the staff who forgot to bring our initial drink order for 20 minutes, the rowdy neighbors who were disturbing what should have been an intimate dinner and the disappointing and expensive steak.

Enoteca 1756 felt like a restaurant that could be an amazing experience that one day would earn itself a Michelin star, but the inconsistent staff and lack of attention to the details that make a fine dining experience memorable simply weren’t there. Perhaps if we had stuck simply to the Japanese menu, our experience would have been better. Maybe that is our fault or maybe Enoteca is trying to do too many things. Doing a Sushi, Pizza and Steak restaurant just didn’t live up to our expectations and definitely not the price tag.

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Enoteca 1756 is located right on the banks of the Douro river, facing Porto's old town, in Vila Nova de Gaia. The vibe feels very upscale. You walk in and are immediately impressed by the grandness of the environment. A cigar lounge, a cheese...Enoteca 1756 (Porto) Review