The art of mixology

Terreiro offers a balance between food and beverage, in a gastrobar that also doubles as a restaurant.

Zózimo Castro walks easily through the bar decorated with dozens of bottles of many colours in an atmosphere brought out by the warm and quiet lighting. He as a curious job at Terreiro: he is a mixologist, a kind of alchemist who instead of creating gold, transforms drinks, changes concepts and brings down biases.

Terreiro embodies a bit of all this. It is a gastrobar, an idea that originated in Europe in the 1990s and kept growing until reaching the stature of the Michelin Stars. Food and drink in equal parts is the recipe, in a constant search for balance between both. ‘Here in Madeira, Terreiro is one of the few spaces with this concept’, the mixologist tells Essential.

Terreiro seeks to show that the gastronomy of Madeira goes well beyond beef in laurel skewers and that drinks are not limited to just wine or Poncha.

The cocktail menu is not short on local inspiration, with names inspired by the Madeiran oral tradition, like Rebendita, Xavelha. Each and every one comes with a suggestion of food. Zózimo Castro explains that the Negrito cocktail ‘pairs well with a board of cheeses and sausages’ or the Fazenda, ‘a more refreshing drink which pairs very well with crab cornets or land and sea cornets’.

Drinks options are not limited to cocktails. There are wines, sparkling wines and spirits. The snacks menu is always available. And there are also suggestions for pairing food with drinks.

Terreiro is also a restaurant. Manager Gonçalo Abreu sums up the concept: ‘blending the best of Madeira with the best of the world’. There is a focus on fresh products and local products. Departing from this idea and from Madeiran roots, Terreiro offers a signature cuisine. There are matured meets, tempuras, and dishes cooked at low-temperatures as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Service is casual and the atmosphere is welcoming. The space allows for group dinners and parties to be thrown, which can be extended to the wide garden.