Gastronomy at Madeira Island Hotel Casa Velha do Palheiro embraces all the flavours, textures and aromas of gourmet cuisine.
Combining familiar culinary concepts with new and contemporary flourishes, the menu choice at Casa Velha skilfully reinvents traditional Portuguese food with a southern European accent and an exotic oriental twist.
Here, the gastronomic heritage of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean unite in a celebration of style and contrast.
Using only the freshest ingredients - and calling upon the creative nous of some of Madeira Island's most outstanding chefs - Casa Velha is able to offer guests a memorable dining experience.
Exemplifying this extraordinary fusion of taste and talent are seafood dishes such as oriental style trilogy of lobster, Sétubal oysters scented with basil and crayfish tempura, and parrot fish fillet wrapped in Swiss chard, symphony of beans, girolles mushrooms and broccoli with clam and truffle sauce.
Beef Tournedo gratinated with pepper crust and bordelaise sauce, or Iberian black pork symphony Portuguese style typify the inventiveness of the meat selection.
For vegetarian guests, a specially designed menu is available upon request.
Soups, from the humble but truly emblematic caldo verde, a traditional Portuguese potato and shredded cabbage soup garnished with chouriço (spicy pork sausage), to the more ingenious cauliflower and curry soup with mussels, illustrate the kitchen's readiness to honour convention but at the same time experiment with the unusual.
Desserts seduce with their promise of indulgence: chocolate symphony, rum and raisin ice cream with crispy praline, caramelised passion fruit crème brûlée, "Rocha" pear sablé with vanilla sauce... the confection really is sweet, the temptation irresistible!
Enriching the flavours is an excellent selection of Madeira wines from the Blandy wine vaults that can be matched as an accompaniment to each choice. Indeed, Portugal's wines are exemplary and some of the country's most respected labels are listed at Casa Velha.
The majority of wine-growing regions are represented, and the hotel's resident sommelier can impart trusted advice as to what wines is best to each course.
For a more international palette, a wider choice of European and New World wines also grace the list. And wine by the glass remains a convenient option.