Tradition and modern cuisine reference in the area.Portal de Mar is a restaurant where tradition meets modernity and experimentation. Extense carte with several specialties like rice and fish. Connected to Portal de Mar we find Saó, a part of the restaurant dedicated to select and modern tapas where enjoy the same restaurant in a very different way. 2 options, pretty much the same philosophy. The name of the restaurant is a reference to the history of the village. Next to it there’s the “portal” or main entrance to the old village, that is also facing the sea. That’s why they are called Portal de Mar. Sea products have a high importance here, so the name becomes specially appropriate. Started 5 years ago. Their roots: Can Falet in l’Estartit, where the family made tapas, vermouth and sandwiches. When opened this restaurant, they knew they wanted to keep their tradition and familiar treatment. That’s something important they have: being a nice restaurant with modern influences and innovation but still being close and familiar to the customers.
Portal de Mar Restaurant is located in Torroella de Montgri, one of the most important villages in the Emporda region. This village is plenty of services and nice spots. An old cinema, nice squares and streets, shops, street market, music festivals and much more. Known in te area for its sense for art and culture. There’s live during all the year. In addition, you’ll find L’Estartit and the Medes Islands very close (less than 5 minutes driving) where enjoy beaches, bars and nightlife.
They have a big parking lot for customers.
Ambience and service:
As I said, the restaurant is divided in two parts: Portal de Mar and Saó. Portal de Mar is more formal and has a traditional style.
Saó was born from the need to offer customers a closer treatment and a more informal way to approach to their cuisine. Based on tapas. High quality tapas that, in fact, became a way for innovating and having fun. Joan Carles, the chef, talks about with lot of passion about their work. Some of the tapas they start serving at Saó end at the carte of Portal de Mar.
The ambience in general is very nice. Big windows let the light come in and see the garden and part of Torroella de Montgri. Relaxed and cozy place, perfect for a family or romantic dinner. Jazz music sounds in the background…
Service is attentive and efficient with a close and familiar touch that I love. Feeling like home in very nice restaurants is not usual, congratulations to Joan Carles and their team for such a great job.
Don’t be scared or afraid, they love to explain how are their dishes so you can easily choose and enjoy.
Food and Drink:
Joan Carles, the chef, knows and visits providers to be sure the process and final product is the best. He developed friendship with many of them, and that’s perfectly visible in the final product. Close and regional products, fresh and high quality materials, the perfect base for an excellent cuisine without disguising.
They received recently Sicted quality certification for good touristic practices. Also, they’ve been chosen as part of the “Cuina de l’Empordanet”. 18 restaurants of the Emporda region that are probably some of the best in the entire Costa Brava. A great distinction reserved just for the best restaurants.
Portal de Mar: Daily menu, special rice and fish menus too. Great assortment of seafood or “sea fruits” (shrimps from Palamós, grilled razor clams, fried small fish, steamed rock mussels, Galician-style octopus, …). Starters like scallops with fresh foie, home-made foie micuit, lettuce with iberian ham and mango, wanton paste ravioli stuffed with confit onions and apple compote and much more.
Rices and are a great specialty, working with high quality rice that grows in Pals, a village next to Torroella de Montgri. The other specialty is fish. Any of their specialties is great, and you can ask for suggestions about fresh and new dishes.
Saó: Experimental cuisine, creativity, modernity, having fun while cooking, etc. As a result, amazing tapas made with best products from the area and international influence like japanese cuisine. Enjoy a good Emporda wine or beer while eating some of the best tapas I’ve ever tried. Specially recommended for people who want to try many different dishes at affordable prices and want a more relaxed ambience.
Emporda region wines are a personal bet. Every day more internationally known, wines from this region are very good and considered but still need support from restaurants. Portal de Mar brings us a great selection of close wine productors and also some of the must have wines from Spain.
I was lucky and able to try first a white wine: Verd Albera from Emporda (amazing, with a fruit touch and very fresh). Accompanied with a delicous fresh salmon tartare with vegetables and guacamole. After that I also tried a hot Saó dish: wanton pasta filled with stewed onion and apple compote. One of the most delicious pasta dishes I’ve ever tried. Asian influence but local products, a great tasty mix. That would be the perfect starting for a meal.
Foie gras with scallops, another delicious tapa. Imagine the consistency of the best foie mixed with fresh scallops and olive oil. Simple and perfect.
After that I wanted to try some dish from the main carte of Portal de Mar. Castell de Peralada Finca Espolla red wine and fish. Many restaurants around cook fish from Mediterranean Sea, but very few know how to do it for a perfect culinary experience. Portal de Mar won’t disappoint you. They suggested (and I rapidly agree) a Grilled brown meagre fillet with stewed baby beans from Torroella and boneless pig’s trotters. Wooow!!! Impressing from the very beginning for its presentation, but specially remarkable after the first bite.
I finished with a dessert. I was not hungry at that point, but couldn’t resist the temptation: Can Pauet home-made curds from Jafre with honey and stewed figs. Amazing. I’m very used now to “recuit de drap”, an Emporda specialty that provides a soft cheese dessert, very special and digestive.
Torroella de Montgri is kind of in the middle between Alt and Baix Emporda. You’ll be able to visit interesting villages around, as well as sports and family activities, beaches and coves.
Medieval market in Peratallada (September), golf (Empordà Golf and Pals Course), Temps de Flors in Girona (spring), beaches and coves, art and culture, Dalí, Cadaqués, Port Lligat, Figueres (Dalí Museum). Jewish quarter in Girona. Cycling activities, walking itineraries all around the area, including Camins de Ronda. Jardins de Cap Roig for nature lovers, Aiguamolls d’Empordà.
In the restaurant, every 4 months, they have art exhibitions promoting local artists. An interesting initiative that fits perfect with their love for art, culture and beautiful things.
Costa Brava is an extensive territory with many interesting things to see and do and a wide variety of landscapes and activities. Explore and enjoy the Costa Brava but don’t forget to visit Portal de Mar.
35-45€. Daily menu during the week.