Private dining at Uva restaurant

Today the forecast was for thunderstorms. We checked approximately six different forecasts, the forecast was still for thunderstorms and we still weren’t dressed for the weather. 
It being Sunday, most things were shut, so I booked one of the hit list restaurants on the Fork app, only to find, when I checked its own website, that it, too, was shut! I moved onto the next one on the list. My booking failed so E booked it only for us both to get confirmations. Three strikes, the Fork is out.

The restaurant we had double booked was Uva in the vine hotel. It was a personal recommendation and, on further investigation, I found it is also listed in the Michelin Bib Gourmand guide.
We decided we’d walk the 3km to town. At about the half way mark, the heavens opened. We were close to shelter so we waited, it got heavier, eventually it got lighter, we made a break for it. Three short minutes later, a car went past and sprayed us completely. Soaked on one side, we continued, reasoning there would be hand driers at the hotel and, with E leaving on Friday, we had a limited amount of time to fit in everything on our must eat at list.

We took the lift to the rooftop and were greeted by Jorge and led into an empty restaurant. Stunned, we asked where everyone was and he said they had a lot of cancellations when the rain started. Given the choice of any table, we chose one on the covered terrace which offered great views over Funchal.

E started with a Divine, a refreshing Vodka based cocktail. I decided to have my first glass of wine in thirteen long weeks and the massive wine list here was a good way to start.
Jorge brought us a little amuse bouche of sushi to nibble while we read the wine list. 

The wine list here was very approachable and easy to follow and it had a tremendous selection of wines by the glass. Wanting to try something new, I went with Jorge’s recommendation of Palmeira e Voltas, a Portuguese wine that was soft and fruity with a note of passion fruit at the end.

I started with Chicharro or horse mackerel, these small boneless fish were served whole, (less heads), in a light panko crumb. I loved the way they looked and the tartar was great with a sharp flavour. Very tasty and fun.

E opted for the deconstructed Caesar salad. We couldn’t identify what made it deconstructed but E particularly liked the juicy fried chicken which had a lovely citrus flavour. The dressing was not a typical Caesar. When we asked, we were told it contained avocado but neither of us could taste that particular flavour, it remains a mystery.

We had both opted for the same main of Black Pork roasted with blood sausage, sautéed apple with cinnamon and mashed potato. Overall, it was very, very good. Some elements, I have to say, were quite special. The pork was well cooked, perhaps slightly dry, but extremely tasty. The accompaniments of spiced apple and the blood sausage were both brilliant. The blood sausage had a hint of cumin and maybe smoked paprika, giving it great flavour and gentle heat. The jus or gravy was also superb. The mash was incredibly smooth and creamy.

As you’d expect, being the only table, the service was excellent and Jorge was very helpful in making some new recommendations. We were too stuffed for dessert and finished with some complimentary truffles.

I’d definitely return and it would be lovely to see the restaurant full, it seems a terrible shame for all those chefs to be sitting in the kitchen with no one to cook for. 

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