Portus 360
By YP Contributor

Finest Dining

David Barros, co-owner and manager at Portus Calle, a Portuguese fine dining restaurant on Saint-Laurent, has an appreciation for details – table setting, prompt service, generous portions and attentive communication. While partner and Chef Helena Loureiro runs the kitchen, he and Denis Seara run the floor. “We focus on delivering something absolutely professional. I think that comes across in everything we do, and it appeals to our regulars. We have people come back three or four nights each week and celebrate their birthdays here because they know what they’re getting. Many of them are experienced professionals, and expect a certain quality to everything they’re served.”

That quality is assured not only by the friendly and cordial staff, but also by the openness and quality of the ingredients. ‘We leave our seafood rack open, and Chef Helena doesn’t hesitate to send something right back out the door if it doesn’t meet her standards.” The discriminating attitude of Chef Helena is not for want of callousness, but in sympathy with her customers. “We rather be caught jumping between suppliers and ingredients than have one that won’t satisfy our customers fully.”

There are 3000 restaurants in Montreal — to really stick we understand how great we have to be! - David Barros, co-owner and manager

Discriminating Imports

Portus Calle’s management doesn’t only search for quality in its ingredients, but prides itself on the transcendent variety. Their all-star list of 220 wines, all from Portugal, and with two prepared by Portus Calle’s partners , David knows that the restaurant stands out in a way no others can hope to. “There are 3000 restaurants in Montreal — to really stick we understand how great we have to be! This is how we know we’ve beaten out the competition. It’s intensely competitive, but we’re more than comfortable with what we’ve accomplished – though we’re not complacent by any means!”

Of course, Portus Calle itself has earned the right to possess that sort of swagger. Having been founded in 2003, and having a chef that has published a cookbook, they know they’ve staked their claim at something special. “You don’t do this for the money, you don’t do this for the popularity. We love a little attention now and then, but you really do this because you love food, especially great food, and you love to serve others.” A discrete grin is struck across David’s face, one of those private markers of pride in a job well done.

Portuguese Fine Dining, Private Wine Importatation, Tapas, Seafood

Accountability First

Something that stands out most when you enter Portus Calle, much as the abundant specialty ingredients and great selection of alcohol adorn the walls, is the command that David and Denis present on the floor. “When you’re on the floor, serving people yourself, you know that you can keep everybody accountable, because it shows you’re all in it together. Nobody can cut corners when ownership puts in the same effort as everybody else.”

That attentiveness extends beyond the restaurant as well. One unmentioned reason that so many celebrate their birthday at Portus Calle is because they take care to wish people well on their special day. “We always make sure to email them or leave them a message for health and happiness, and it comes naturally out of the rapport we develop. When you serve people to the best of your ability nearly every day, they’re no longer your customer, they’re your family, and they’re part of your gang.”

Portuguese Fine Dining, Private Wine Importatation, Tapas, Seafood
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