As digital nomads, we celebrated Thanksgiving at MUU in Porto, Portugal.
It wasn’t too strange celebrating Thanksgiving without the rest of our family.
In past years, we would always celebrate with our moms (together) for Thanksgiving dinner, so there’s only 6 of us sitting around the dinner table. It was always super casual, but we still cooked plenty of traditional recipes, leaving leftovers for days.
But, because our holidays were always pretty casual, I actually wasn’t too concerned we wouldn’t be there this time. I figured our moms would miss us a bit, but it wasn’t going to be a big deal that we weren’t there.
Besides, we just left Arizona.
It’s possible the reason I didn’t feel guilty about it is because we just left Arizona after having spent over a month there. We chose to go home in October for a few reasons, including voting and choosing a time for international flights that wasn’t overpriced.
By going in the fall, our time spent there helps soften the fact that we wouldn’t be there for Thanksgiving (and winter holidays). As a result, we were able to see family close to those holidays, and still get to enjoy our digital nomad family life living abroad.
Everyone is happy. :)
I finally get a break from cooking.
Living in Porto we have a tiny kitchen, with minimal cooking equipment. There are also no turkeys around. Or cranberries as far as I can tell.
We decided to give me a much needed break from cooking Thanksgiving dinner (I’m always the main home chef every year), and we went out to an amazing dinner.
That’s what this post is about: Thanksgiving dinner at MUU in Porto, Portugal.
It was a most memorable dinner and one of my best dining experiences ever. I love you, MUU.
It’s kind of silly how I decided on MUU for our holiday dinner.
When picking what place to go to, I simply looked on Google maps and saw the names of restaurants nearby.
MUU (that name) stuck out to me… maybe it was my inner carnivore calling me. So I clicked on it – it was the first one I chose. It took me to Trip Advisor where I went on to read tons (over 800!) of reviews – all amazing.
Like… all of them.
I was intrigued.
What stood out was the description of the service. It was consistently being raved about by every reviewer. People couldn’t believe how appreciated they felt as customers in a restaurant.
It was also commonly noted about the attention to detail this locally owned, small restaurant provides in every way. Since we were looking for an extra special place to spend our holiday dinner, this caught my attention, too.
And, it’s a steakhouse. Perfect for a person who likes to eat a lot of meat. Me.
It didn’t take much convincing after I read the reviews, and knew I could get a killer steak, to pick MUU for our Thanksgiving celebration. I emailed for a reservation and they responded that they’d have a table for us from 7pm to 9:15pm.
Thanksgiving day arrived, we donned our best digital nomad clothes (jeans and thermals), and walked to dinner. It was raining a little and chilly for our Arizona bones, but the anticipation we had for the upcoming holiday dinner kept us warm. Personally, I tingled with excitement, too, but I’m a bit overly passionate about fine dining and big-ass steaks.
So? How was it?
It. Was. Amazing.
In fact, beyond amazing.
From the moment you walk through the door the experience begins. Gorgeous entryway, kind host, and beautiful decor the whole way to the table.
There were so many little touches like the thing that props up the flatware.
The engraving in the table and the embroidered cloth napkins.
The stainless steel ventilation system.
The view of the kitchen with raw meat above the chef’s head.
The friggin’ place is gorgeous.
Everything from the wine inventory to the fresh herbs growing to the heavy door to the bathroom entryway to the tablescape and so much more.
They even had fresh rosemary warmed and smoking to tap into your sense of smell. The music was at a perfect level so you can hear it enough to know the songs, and be moved by them, but not so loud that you can’t talk. So many details. So thoughtful.
And the bathrooms?
The beautiful and groovy decor continued in there – the butterfly decorations and the colored toilet paper, music streaming in, embroidered hand towels…
And… the service: Warm and inviting.
The server learned our names, including Kamea’s (and remembered them!). He walked us through the whole menu while kneeling down at our level (I even saw a server sitting in the booth with customers doing the same thing). We were taken care of the whole time. They’d walk by Kamea and pat her on the shoulder or head – giving her attention.
They made us feel like we were the only customers in the restaurant.
And… the food: Epic.
They brought us the house couvert which is a part of Portuguese dining culture. It comes to the table shortly after sitting down. In most restaurants it’s typically bread, olive oil, olives, and a bit of sardine or tuna pate.
MUU presented us with a couvert consisting of a small mix of Portuguese breads, two delicious butters (one with a pesto flair and the other with a hint of maple), and an amouse-bouche for each of us. It’s their “welcome” to our restaurant.
It was sublime.
The flavors of the amuse-bouche were delicate yet explosive.
After looking at the menu, it was time to order. Let the excitement begin!
Our starter of choice was a browned cheese dish.
We were blown away by the presentation – not expecting it.
It arrived as cheeses melted… inside a fucking bone.
They offer 7 choices for steak with 6 being local from Portugal. We ordered the tomahawk steak designed to feed 2 to 3 people for 64 euros.
It was magnificent in every way imaginable. The presentation, the chunky finishing sea salt, the perfect cooking. Holy fuck. I was in heaven.
We were not shy about going after the bone, too.
We also ordered two sides: a rice dish and a vegetable dish though I mainly stuck to the meat!
Greg and I each had a glass of house red wine (4 euros per glass). I only ever have a couple of sips before giving him the rest of mine, but it was delicious.
And, we ordered coffee and two desserts of which I tasted each – spectacular. They were artsy, texture rich, full-on dessert experiences.
At the end of the meal, Kamea and Greg were deep in a conversation about Dune.
Home is truly wherever this little family of mine is. This Thanksgiving dinner was memorable on so many fronts, and I’m grateful to MUU for such an experience.
We even got hugs goodbye.
Here are a couple of snapshots of the menu…
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