Passion for food in Porto, Portugal

So finally I have gotten the necessarily motivation to start blogging. I meet a very interesting travel writer last night at a house warming party who encouraged me to start today. Thank you Sonja. Please check her travel blog at www.travel.tele.ch

I am going to try to keep my blog close the subject matter closet to my heart meaning food, wine and interesting company.

I have been cooking all my life and it is a fantastic experience when you suddenly find yourself with not only one but with two extraordinary restaurant experiences in one weekend.

We booked a city break weekend onPorto,Portugal.

Packed my shorts and light summer clothing for a nice spring weekend on the coast of the Iberian Peninsula only to arrive in gale force winds and 6 C

Left behind a balmy 26 C inBasel.

Luckily for us I have done my research looking for the best meals inPorto. I had booked a table in the new port in Matosinho (20 km outsidePorto) and we arrived, cold, early and very hungry only to find that the restaurant had not opened yet. The wind was picking up and our taxi had long since left us for the warmer streets of the city.

We decided to warm up with a nice warm glass of port in what seem to be the only restaurant open. The chef was just lighting the grill outside wearing a down jacket and an old ski hat from some old forgotten resort inNorway. We surprised the staff by not only being very early but that we where only interested in a drink (hopefully warm) Judith (my partner) ordered a glass of white wine and I a red port. What came was a glass of red wine and a glass of white port? Oh well.

The staff was not very talkative since English is virtually non existent as where our Portuguese, they served us with the wine beautiful tasting local olives and a couple of amazing soft goat cheeses with home baked bread. They where obviously doing everything to make us stay!

Needless to say the succeeded and we decided after cancelling our original booking to stay.By the entrance was a large table with crushed ice with a choice of fantastic freshly caught fish, beautiful, glistening and very fresh, fish, clams, octopus and oysters. We choose the sea bass and by now the slightly warmer chef would run of with the catch and grill it with using only sea salt a little olive oil.

Meanwhile the chef was battling mother nature by his grill outside we enjoyed tail of langoustine with fresh garlic and chilies, salt cod fish cakes and more of the wonderful home baked bread. The sea bass arrives and is expertly filleted at the table and with it comes a large plate of sautéed vegetables, a huge salad and these amazing small cooked potatoes with butter that seems to come with most meals inPorto.

It was simple the best fish we have ever eaten!

Cooked with what can only be described as love. Acquired knowledge that only comes with love, respect for the produce and many years of cooking.

We had maybe a little more to drink this evening than normal but that can only be blamed on the weather and the language. By the time we where ready to leave after paying for was have to be one of the top 10 meals in our lives!  71 EUR We had made new friends and wanted to share this experience with the world. This wonderful restaurant is:

Restaurante De Peixe

O Valentim

Rua Herois de franca 263

Matosinhos

Tel: +351 22 938 80 15

More to follow tomorrow. Our second experience!

Best Regards

Nils Mannerstedt

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