August 11, 2011

No more Nino

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I haven't been to Nino's Cozinha for a long time, and was thinking of doing something a little out of the ordinary tonight.  My friends very kindly obliged me, booked a table a week in advance, and made sure to reserve a quarter of a roast suckling pig.  I hadn't touched alcohol in almost 3 weeks and was very much looking forward to tasting a couple of bottles.

I arrived to find the couple fuming.  Apparently the restaurant has run out of pig, and insisted that my friend never reserved it.  The waitress had also apparently not followed instructions when it came to wine service.  Looks like we were off to a great start...

Salada de pimentos assados - this was OK, if a little peppery.  Normally it would have been fine, but it aggravated my cough.

Mão de porco cozida - very interesting way to serve pork trotters.  I love pork trotters, and the acidity of the vinaigrette cut down the fattiness.  Yum.

Amêijoas à moda da casa - clams in white wine sauce, yes, but with a slight twist.  There were diced cubes of potatoes in the mix, which naturally I didn't care for.  We also wondered if the clams were still fresh...

Bacalhao à braz - VERY disappointing.  What happened to the crispy flakes of potato?  This was completely soggy and wet.  No good.

Rabo de boi guisado - this oxtail with tomato sauce has always been interesting, especially with the use of cloves and star anise.

Arroz de pato - I think this was OK, with the usual five spice  in the rice.  I also scooped some of the oxtail sauce onto the rice.

2000 Joseph Roty Mazy-Chambertin - very fruity with lots of berries, a little oxidized on the edges.  Kinda alcoholic and burns a little.  Later on with more aeration, more animal, leather and a little mineral.  A very lovely wine.

1981 Torres Gran Coronas Reserva Mas La Plana - I took this out of the fridge because I thought it'd be interesting to drink something that is 30 years old.  This Cab drank very well.  A little smoky, with prunes, potpourri, meaty and fragrant.  Acidity is slightly higher than expected, but there was still very good concentration on the palate.

Well, I honestly think that the quality of the food has continued to decline.  The business has just gotten too big, and I don't think the proprietors have put enough "heart" into it.  After my last visit, I wondered whether the quality will suffer.  I guess my fears came true, and I'll probably not going to visit Nino's again...

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