In Chantada, in the heart of Galicia, A Faragulla has marked a before-and-after in quality cuisine in the Ribeira Sacra, an area of wine, chestnuts, and good meat. Following three basic pillars — gourmet Galician ingredients, a spacious cellar of regional wines, and the grill — this wine shop has been transformed into a model of cutting-edge cuisine with a personal touch in the province of Lugo.
The person behind it all, Antonio Lorenzo Gay, known as Toño, knows stoves first-hand. He’s part of the third generation of a family with a long history in the hospitality industry, an experience that has given him, as a fan of travel and climbing, a solid footing in traditional food. Trained in culinary schools in Barcelona and Granada, Toño takes advantage of January and February, when he closes his shop, to travel and continue learning new techniques in places like the Basque Culinary Center or the Argentinian restaurant of Francis Mallmann, an expert on the grill.
Good ingredients are one of the key principles of A Faragulla. Therefore, they rely on gourmet Galician providers with a rural social conscience, which is to say, local producers who are linked to the population of the area and who give the dishes an added value, because of the proximity of the raw materials and the sustainability of seasonal products. So on their menu, they highlight grilled meats and fish accompanied by roasted vegetables. A delicacy for a refined palate and for those who are looking for traditional food with a touch of the vanguard, without coughing up too much money.
And to guide the diner, there’s nothing better than sophisticated and personal service: a maître d’hotel with sommelier’s training, and on the weekends, a professional sommelier who advises and explains how to pair wines. A Faragulla has a large cellar in full view and almost 100 wines, 80% of which are Galician in origin and 20% are not, with the intention that local customers can try out new flavors further away from their shores. Something that makes Toño proud is to have grown up together with the wines from the Ribeira Saca Denominación de Origen, a winning synergy, now that they’re a model among the wines from the mountain.
And, despite his success, Toño’s mind never rests. Between his projects, he’s found himself opening a “patio of fire” on the indoor terrace, where he can improve the charcoal and open-fire grills, along with producing his own charcoal from regional fruit trees like grapevine, apple or lemon and experiment with aromatic aspects of wood.
In Galician, “faragulla” means breadcrumbs, and, seeing the trajectory of this shop, they must be breadcrumbs from heaven. A luxury for Chantada to have a restaurant with these characteristics, where quality and price are combined to perfection.
Phone: +34 982 88 13 51
Hours: July, August, September: Open from Tuesday to Thursday during lunchtime hours / Friday and Saturday, uninterrupted hours from lunchtime until dinner / Sunday midday
Price: Daily menu, Tuesday to Friday: 15 euros / Tasting menu: 30 euros
Text: Helena Martínez de Aspe
Photos: Ana Ortega