Miguel Laffan, one of the Michelin chefs of TAP’s Taste the Stars programme, is back. Now at the Atlântico restaurant, in Estoril.
Time spent in Spain, France and Brazil, and Madeira and Alentejo – where he earned a Michelin star – are all part of Miguel Laffan’s profile and his incursions into the gastronomic world reflect this, particularly a French influence. He began his career at Fortaleza do Guincho, in Cascais, and after working in some of the finest French restaurants, he took his first steps with signature cuisine in Madeira. With the Michelin-starred Benoît Sinthon, and later on his own, he created dishes at Casa Velha do Palheiro (Funchal), among other restaurants, and took his food to a higher level. When he returned to the mainland, he took over at L’AND Vineyards, in Montemor-o-Novo, earning a star of his own.
Now he returns to the place where he was born and raised. Son of an English mother and Portuguese father, he lived in Areia, just a stone’s throw from Guincho Beach, and is now reinventing himself at Miguel Laffan at Atlântico Bar & Restaurant, in Estoril, where diners can marvel at the bay view and a horizon of boats making their way from the ocean to the Tagus River. The restaurant is part of the Hotel InterContinental Cascais-Estoril and has two different areas, one of them outside, with a large wooden deck. The counter at the end of the terrace, which boasts a careful selection of drinks, transforms the restaurant into a bar.
The menu is “Laffan”, with the chef’s penchant for fresh seafood, with a contemporary touch. The dishes are essentially Portuguese, but with his recognisable twist. The usual flavours and combinations become new tastes and improbable connections. You feel it in the tuna tartare, avocado toast and cherry tomato; the line-caught sea bass with mussels, leek and champagne and saffron cream; or the duck breasts with Asian citrus, foie gras and acidulous beets risotto. There are other risottos, like the green asparagus with 12-month-old parmesan. The wine list is very international with over hundred different bottles. Laffan turns 40 this year, and he promises many new creations to come.
by Augusto Freitas de Sousa
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