Sal na Adega is the name of the new restaurant that complements the wine tourism offer of Adega Mãe.
When at the end of 2011 Bernardo Alves inaugurated the new family project – Adega Mãe – located in Quinta da Archeira, in Torres Vedras (Lisbon region), he always had the notion of the importance of wine tourism and its development. This is how, over the years, it has been organizing activities around wine that have also contributed to building and making visible its wine brands. In addition to the shop where visitors buy wines, wine utensils and various merchandising objects, the winery promotes guided tours and wine tastings, workshops, gastronomic meals, art exhibitions and other activities where imagination is the limit. More recently, the investment in the opening of a restaurant was almost inevitable, after all, Adega Mãe is born from the investment of the Riberalves Group in wine, and wine is one of the best harmonizations with the king cod.
This is how some spaces outside the cellar, now closed, were taken advantage of to make way for the restaurant. "I first thought of a small space, situated just after the shop, where visitors could snack on something. But then we started to get inspired, to see that there was space and we also ended up making, in addition to the restaurant, a small lounge with wine bar, and a snack area", reveals Bernardo Alves. This functional and refined area has 48 seats (24 in a pandemic setting, with the official Clean & Safe certification), overlooking the beautiful landscape of vineyards that dominates the region. The letter is the responsibility of chef Tiago Velez.
For Bernardo Alves, the vision has always been to look at wine tourism as much more than a product: "Wine tourism is the best ambassador of our brand, our wine and our region. We do not design a winery without it being available 365 days a year, open to people, the experience of visits, tastings and gastronomic harmonizations. The Sal restaurant in adega is another big step, in order to share the best that offers us the Atlantic terroir and our traditional cuisine", he says. He said: "I wanted the fate of this opening to take place in the middle of a pandemic, but we did not lower our arms or restrained our enthusiasm. We have implemented the necessary measures and we are sure that we will contribute to further enhancing tourism in Lisbon and its wine region."
A menu of traditional flavors
As it could not fail to be, in the menu of the restaurant Sal in the Cellar evokes the product of the sea. The Atlantic vocation, by geography, by the wine terroir or even by the connection to the Riberalves Group, is inspiring the most diverse cod dishes (cachaços, línguas, samos and ceviches), but also of other maritime flavors such as cuttlefish or octopus, carabineiros, fish in salt or grill. The meats are also present, starting with the traditional goat, lamb or portuguese stew, or even the chuletons prepared on fire. "We try, above all, that it is a family restaurant, with a lot of Portugal and a lot of love", explains chef Tiago Velez, author of a service permanently challenged by winemaker Diogo Lopes' wines. "We will have the entire range of Adega Mãe available, a total of 27 references, including whites, reds, rosés and sparkling wines, between batch wines and monocastes, proposing the most diverse harmonizations, always within the Atlantic profile that defines us", reveals the winemaker.
Velez was born in Lisbon but grew up in Entroncamento. At home, he ate well, his parents were fans of Ribatejana and Alentejo cuisine, and grandma cooked him delicious soups and he himself liked to go to the kitchen to try recipes, namely cakes with which he presented his mother when he returned home. It was not surprising that he graduated in cooking in 2006 at the Estoril School of Hospitality and Tourism. Since then, he has passed through Choupana Gordinni (São João do Estoril), was part of the catering mission of the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union; in 2014 he joined Ljubomir Stanisic, in bistro 100 Maneiras, to prepare the opening of the Project Omali São Tomé and, in 2017, when returning to Portugal after a time for African lands, he was Chef of the Group Without Spines, where he worked almost exclusively the fish, unavoidable in his letters. In 2019, after another experience in the Lisbon Jaquinzinho, he accepted the invitation to be head of the restaurant Sal na Adega, since it opened, just before the beginning of the pandemic.