Carlos Crespo Lorenzo and his family with Christopher Goodrich
As far as we know, this restaurant gem has the world's largest water menu. It is called O Lar do Leitón, which translates from Galician into “the place of the roast suckling pig”,
O Lar do Leitón
Rua do Sol, 18.
Valdorregueiro, Ourense, 32001
+34 988 21 66 88
This is Ground Zero for every water connoisseur, with a great Food Menu and an unbelievable water selection. One would need many dinners there just to start to explore the possibilities.
There are 152 waters on the Water Menu
Maybe we need to make it a yearly pilgrimage for water sommeliers and connoisseurs to eat and pair water with food at this amazing place.
International Sparkling Waters
International Still Waters
Spanish Sparkling Waters
Spanish Still Waters
Our man in Spain, water sommelier Christopher Goodrich, discovered the restaurant recently and filed this report:
It is said that gastronomy is the border where culture and nature meet and come to terms at. With this statement in mind, water is, without an educated doubt, the final frontier in the culinary experience.
For those of us water connoisseurs, the painful reality of the treatment water is given in today’s gastronomical offers around the globe is a rather revealing indictment of the industry as a whole. Everyone has a different excuse, and yes, we have heard them all; it´s only for upscale restaurants, the market isn’t there, water is just water, nobody is interested, and (my favorite) it would ruin my reputation to showcase a water menu. Ridiculous right?
Well, it turns out that for the last 15 years, a humble little place in central Galicia, Spain, has been destroying every one of those myths and excuses by passion, dedication, and enthusiasm for the category.
Allow me to introduce O Lar do Leitón. Famous? Not yet… Water menu? Oh yeah! O Lar do Leitón translates from Galician into “the place of the roast suckling pig”, and it is exactly that, an unassuming and family-owned steak and roast house commonly known in Spain as an Asador.
It is in this humble establishment that, in 2007, Carlos Crespo Lorenzo and his family were faced with the challenge of setting themselves apart from the rest of the crowd by introducing something unique that everyone else seemed to be content ignoring: the water menu. Knowing full well that they could not compete financially with the surrounding gastronomical and enological offers without becoming just “another restaurant”, they embarked into the uncharted tides with their first water carte.
The original menu featured 36 waters… Yes! In a world where most places only venture to offer still or sparkling, Carlos featured three dozen options from 8 different countries. The idea was to elevate water as the main protagonist and attraction, accompanied by the regional cuisine and wines as they slowly inched into the local scene.
After a decade and a half of trial and error, the current menu features over 150 different waters from 33 countries and encompasses every possible category and variety the world has to offer. The menu is not a curated one, but rather offers an extensive guide for pairings and recommendations based on general categorizations, allowing guests to make educated choices to enhance their dining experiences.
Having stumbled upon this rare treasure during my Water Menu assignment through the Fine Water Academy course, I corresponded with the Crespo family, who cordially invited me to discover this unique experience in person. We finally coincided as part of the jury panel of the international water tasting competition in Termatalia 2022, where I was able to experience their delightful hospitality and indulge in what most certainly can be considered the Mecca of water menus.
Water is life… it is culture, romance, passion, and nature. Nowhere else is that more evident than in this small corner of Galicia, the land of a thousand rivers, which happens to be the home to (yes, I’m going to say it) the biggest and best water menu on planet earth. If you happen to get lost in this corner of the world, follow your palate and do yourself the epicurean favor of stopping by… You’ll be glad you did.
Christopher Goodrich, October 2022