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Just go: O Gaveto, Matosinhos, Oporto

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With good reason, O Gaveto is a favourite haunt of Douro wine producers.   Forget frying tonight, the freshest fish and shellfish is the order of the day at O Gaveto.  After all, it’s located in Matosinhos, home to Oporto’s fishing port.

Which is perhaps why, even if you’ve visited Oporto, it may have passed you by.  But the 20 minute taxi ride from the city centre is well worth it; I’m told it’s handy for the Metro too.  On both occasions I’ve dined there in the last month we’ve kicked off with an array of shellfish – sweet shrimps and prawns, taste of the sea goose barnacles and sweet and earthy crab, with immense depth of flavour.  Check out this shellfish counter.

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I don’t think I’ve tasted better sea bass anywhere than in Portugal – both here and in Bairrada.  Wild and cooked whole, fleshy and succulent,  it bears little resemblance to the ubiquitous slender shards of fish, a.k.a. farmed sea bass fillets, served at home.  Still, what a treat to have a plate of spiny lobster rice (with gorgeous bisque) on the side – trust me, forget risotto, Portugal excels at shellfish/fish and rice dishes.

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Plus wine lovers take note, the brothers who run this impeccable joint are true wine connoisseurs.  The wine list (with exclusive house wines from Anselmo Mendes and Niepoort) is super extensive yet extremely well chosen; prices are sharp too.

You’ll find older vintages and vertical flights of among my favourite Douro wines.  The fantastic Port list includes my Very Old Tawny holy grail, Graham’s Ne Oublie, just in case you are feeling flush, won the lotto…! Shellfish and Champagne lovers won’t be disappointed either.


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