In 2001, the creative cuisine of Echaurren had already made an important gap in the structure of the house. It was at that moment when we thought about creating a new item to shape these concerns and thus, in 2002, was born, El Portal de Echaurren.
These years have not been easy as it initially had to convince friends and strangers that El Portal was not just a childhood dream. El Portal came to complement a magnificent dining options within the hotel. But it had to be a new restaurant, in the shadow of the same building that houses the Echaurren tradition, and in a contemporary style and designed by and for tasting the most creative cuisine. An ambitious space to accommodate new concerns and where Francis could unleash his creativity. The bet in a little village of only 2000 inhabitants was not easy, but today boasts of being the first restaurant in the history of La Rioja, to get a star in the Michelin guide. In November 2012 Francis got, 25 years after his mother, the prestigious National Gastronomy Award for Best Chef and in November 2014, again broke the glass ceiling of La Rioja, getting the second Michelin star for this restaurant.
Today, the gastronomic offer of this space is shown through three tasting menus. In all three are discovered the chef's relationship and love for his territory and a great concern, as it describes the journalist Pablo García Mancha in the last book about El Portal cuisine:
"Francis Paniego cooks as he is. His dishes and the finding that develops in El Portal de Echaurren of the most untamed nature of its gastronomy, is just the reflection of the spirit of a radically marked by restlessness being".