Leo’s Grill opened in December 2022 as the latest addition to Puerto Portals’ eclectic gastronomic scene. Owned by Daniel Dogan - one of two partners at Harbour Grill in Port Adriano - the restaurant is described as a “modern, ecologically oriented, steakhouse with high-quality food and a large selection of carefully selected wines”.
I was greeted by Nathalie, Daniel’s partner in life and work, who was going to be my host for the day. She suggested that I try a selection of starters and side dishes, followed by one of their most popular steaks and I happily agreed. First off, I was presented with Tuna Tartar, made with Bluefin tuna and their home-made guacamole. I loved the smaller than usual cubes of tuna and the beautiful presentation. This tasted like spring: refreshing, citrusy and all together heavenly! Dollops of sesame mayonnaise and thin slivers of roasted garlic added some depth and smokiness to this fresh dish.
Next up, there were stalks of wild broccoli sprinkled with parmesan and almonds and served with hollandaise sauce. More spring colours with bright green and yellow on the plate! The broccoli was perfectly steamed, so that the flowers were soft and the stalks crunchy. I loved the addition of almonds to parmesan, for some extra bite. Something else I noticed by this point was that the colours of serving plates matched the shades of the chairs. This place seemed to be effortlessly cool, but I imagine that every little detail had been carefully planned and coordinated and that impressed me hugely!
Another beautifully presented fresh dish in the form of avocado and tomato salad arrived. Tiny cubes of avocado were mixed with halved multi-coloured cherry tomatoes, finely chopped red onion and a handful of micro greens. I was intrigued by the very tasty dressing. I tried to guess what it was, listing mango or passion fruit as possible ingredients, but did not get very far with the chef, except to say that it was “citrus based and sprinkled with magic”. Ah, those tricks of the trade!
The final starter I tried was a ball of creamy burrata, served with tomato, basil pesto, pine nuts and pomegranate. I imagined the last ingredient to be a nod to the owner’s Turkish heritage. Here we had some sweeter, richer flavours than in previous few dishes, but again a superb combination that I thoroughly enjoyed.
At this point it occurred to me that all the dishes I had tried thus far, in this modern steak house, would have been suitable for vegetarians. Even if one does not eat meat, they would have plenty of choice to dine like a king at Leo’s Grill.
I, however, do eat meat and I was really looking forward to the culmination of my experience here. Nathalie suggested I tried their 120 days aged USA I.B.P. filet steak. I asked for it to be prepared medium well and this was executed to perfection. The filet came on a simple large white plate, garnished with rosemary, thyme and cherry tomatoes, with a splash of home-made chimichurri. It did not need anything else. It looked classy and tasted divine - crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth soft on the inside! The steak’s perfect preparation, I was told, comes from the “Southbend Grill with an infrared output of 800°”. Technically speaking, “the heat caramelizes the film of fat, which closes the pores and creates a tender and juicy steak with a perfect crust”. Translated to Mia’s language - this experience exceeded all my expectations! I will definitely be back very soon to try some other delights of Leo’s Grill menu!
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