Douro in Greenwich
Has anyone tried this new place? It is suppose to be the chef from Oporto in Hartsdale.
We ate there last night. I think the place has potential, but until they iron out some of their issues, I'd hold off on going. We arrived a bit before 9pm w/out a reservation. We certainly knew we'd have to wait-that was no problem. There were 2 seats at the bar, but not together so my husband stood. While my husband stepped outside to check a message ( this place is LOUD!!), I ordered a glass of wine. ( Martin Codax albarino) The wine list is fairly limited. 3 whites, 3 reds by the glass. I don't know about anyone else, but it a huge pet peeve of mine when the server/bartender is holding what you ordered in front of you, but is too busy talking to someone to put it down for you to enjoy. So you just have to look at it. kind of annoying. The hostess ( who I should note was doing numerous jobs-assisting the bartender, bussing tables, bringing food out to the diners) offered us 2 seats together as another couple had gotten up. But, nobody cleaned the spots. Until she finally realized she had to do it. We ordered more drinks and apps- garlic shrimp and calamari.
A table opened just as the bartender was putting out plates and utensils, so they said they'd bring it over to our new spot. Instead of bringing it right over, a waiter told us the specials asked what kind of water we wanted and disappeared. We had to ask for the apps-which must have been ready when we were still at the bar- and when they arrived, they were cold. It was 10pm. We still hadn't ordered dinner.
A different waiter took our order. And as we observed the dining room, it seemed this was going on at many tables and the hostess was running interference. Our food came, but it was clear it had been waiting. The chicken paleha and the bitoque were fine, average, but nothing special. We usually leave nothing on the plate, but we weren't interested in finishing.
I think it may take them some time to iron out the service issues and the communication between the waitstaff and the kitchen. The chef at some point did come out and visit some tables ( not ours). Being that they are practically right next door to Barcelona ( which in my opinion is fair, but always packed) and the economy is down, they are going to have to step it up at Douro if they want to make it!
My boyfriend and I tried Douro this past Saturday, after reading a review in the Greenwich Magazine. We had a reservation for 8pm, so we didn’t have to wait at all. The place is small, maybe 45 seats, and very charming. The décor was simple, yet elegant; I especially loved the ceramic plates on the wall. We found the noise level to be bearable and not loud at all.
We started with the roasted beets, toasted pignoli nuts and goat cheese salad. The salad was delicious, really it was; however, it didn’t compare to the hummus or garlic shrimp. The hummus was served with grilled and seasoned pita and the garlic shrimp was in a mouth-watering broth – unreal!
A bottle of Sangria later and we were ready for our entrees. Oh, did I mention the Sangria? Absolutely delicious!! A must have!! The couple sitting next to us suggested we try it; they were regulars at the chefs’ last place. They were on their second bottle!! According to them Douro had just recently received their liquor license, which may explain why the wine list was limited a few weeks ago.
Entrées… I decided on the frango, which is chicken (on the bone) marinade and roasted over a wood charcoal fire. Like most, I always eat with a knife and fork when dinning out (especially in Greenwich); however, on this particular day I was unable to control myself. The chicken was out of this world and I couldn’t allow a single piece of meat to remain on the bone. That’s right ladies, I got down and dirty and used my hands! And, I’d do it again!!
My boyfriend decided to try the bitoque based on the review in the Greenwich magazine. The bitoque is a butter-flied shell steak pan seared in a garlic-wine sauce with an egg on top served over crispy fries!! Yum, Yum, Yummy!!
The couple who suggested the Sangria also suggested we try the flan cheese cake. We didn’t have room for dessert (at least that’s what we thought) so we got it to go! 15 minutes later when we got home we devoured the cheese cake! Don’t worry girls; an hour on the treadmill is worth every bite!!
Our waiter was great, polite and attentive. As soon as we were done with our dinner he cleaned off our table. A pet peeve of mine is when waiters pass my table multiple times after I’ve finished my meal and refuse to remove the dirty dishes from the table. This was not the case at Douro.
We really had a great experience at Douro ~ from the ambiance, to the food to the service; everything was spot on. I urge you to try it and judge for yourself. Oh and I’d do it sooner rather than later because according to the article in Greenwich magazine “when word gets out about this new little gem, it will be hard to book a table, go soon”
I agree with the above posting completely! The food was fantastic! Very creative and sophisticated (although the ambiance is simple) at fair price. This is what Greenwich needed!! We have lived in Greenwich for a while, and find it hard to get excited about restaurants as we are former New Yorkers, but Douro really impressed us. Low key, reasonably priced, fabulous food! If they had done a more expensive installation, think Tarry Lodge, it would harder to get a reservation here than there, because the food is much better!
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I had lunch here with a client about a week ago and thought it was fabulous. I had the chef's lunch ($15 combo app + entree) and ordered the calamari fritto and chicken paelha). The calamari was phenomenal. Light yet fried to perfection and the dipping sauce accompanying it brought it over the edge.
The Chicken Paelha plate was pretty good as well. A bit to be left taste-wise (I felt the combination of chicken, shiitake mushrooms, chourico, green peas & fresh cilantroin a saffron infused rice could have had more flavor, however it was quite subtle.)
For $15, I thought this was a great deal given the location and atmosphere (that and it's a short 2 minute walk from my apt. on the ave).