We need to talk: Tenro by Digby and the food of emotions

Words: Cláudia Pinto
Photos: Luís Ferraz

Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It’s around the table that we most likely have some of the best memories of our lives, especially as a family. The table is a time and a place for bonding and sharing. And let’s face it, the better the food, the happier our memories will be. The thing is, food can convey emotions, histories, and legacy.
Are you curious? We hope that these words will make you book a table at Tenro by Digby…
But let’s go in parts.

The location

Let’s start with the location. Tenro by Digby restaurant can be found in the (itself incredible) Torel Avantgarde Hotel. A breath of fresh air in the heart of Porto, a view over the Douro River to lose sight of and a truly unique experience that only this hotel can offer you.

The restaurant

Tenro by Digby has been open since 2017 in the Torel Avantgarde. The name is a reference to Sir Kenelm Digby, an emblematic English philosopher, intellectual and gourmet. And then there’s the idea of “tender” (tenro), which refers to the slow cooking processes behind the fish and meat on the menu.

The Chef

João Figueirinhas took over the kitchen of the Torel Avantgarde restaurant this year.
Porto, London, and Algarve are some places where he has been. The Yeatman, Euskalduna Studio, Semea and Fava Tonka, in Porto, were his most recent homes. The chef’s experience cannot be underestimated when it comes to understanding the new menu.
If the Douro is the backdrop, Portuguese flavours can easily be part of another international cuisine.
The menu

On the menu, we find the world, family, and emotion. The perfect ingredients to make the experience unique. “We focus, above all, on keeping things simple and for that reason, we choose a maximum of three elements so that each combination includes a protein, a garnish, and a sauce”, explains chef João Figueirinhas. The dishes end up being a mixture of the flavours of typical Portuguese cuisine with various international influences.

A meal can be started with a Vegetable “Escabeche” or a Dashi, whose broth reuses the bones of several fishes that come into the restaurant. And this is a key point in the menu: the reuse of all food. “Thinking about what nobody ever thinks about”.
Meat is the main protagonist of this gastronomic spectacle and bears the stamp of José Gordon’s prestigious Spanish restaurant and producer El Capricho. The highlights are the Matured Beef Tenderloin and the Beef “Chuleton” matured.

But there are more actors in this show. As for the fish, “all of which can easily be spooned up with a spoon”, emphasis on the Monkfish with “Bulhão Pato” Clam rice and holophyte herbs or the Ray and “Pil-Pil” with pickled grapes and sautéed mushrooms.

But vegetarian dishes are not left out of this menu, including celery – from bulb to branch – but also Mushroom Rice finished with toasted yeast.
The epilogue happens with the desserts, which range from Chocolate Soufflé, Banana, and Caramel to Coconut Pannacotta with Sesame Ice Cream and Exotic Fruit Curry.

Magic Box

Highlighting a dish would always be inglorious, but it’s only fair to emphasise the creativity of this proposal. And the box of side dishes is one of the best examples of how cooking and creativity can go hand in hand.

It now includes side dishes such as Aubergine with Miso, Beurre Blanc Potato and Seaweed, Cauliflower and “Açorda”, served in a box that preserves all the flavours.

Details to keep in mind

Open everyday, from 11h30 to 22h30.

Here? Rua da Restauração N.º 336

4050-501 Porto

Our advice is the same as always, to go.

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