Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Another great meal--well earned!

     Today was our first full day in Porto, Portugal.  It was a long and physically challenging but most enjoyable day.  We had a little laundry that needed to be done so we got sort of a late start, after our breakfast of coffee and very amusing pastries from the bakery around the corner from our apartment. Sorry, we ate them all up before I thought about taking pictures

We started out by a tour of the local market, and I’ll post more about that later.  Then a walk down the prime shopping street and to a couple of churches and other landmarks that Tom will talk about on Facebook.  We wanted to have lunch at the restaurant of the Taylor-Fladgate port cellar, Barao de Fladgate which was very highly recommended.  But it turned out to be quite a trek on foot.  On this view, if you look very carefully, to the right of the tallest tower, you will see two small rectangular towers.  These are the steeples of one church we walked past.

Then down toward the long bridge you see in the background, and across it. 
Up the hill and along the avenue at the top of the hill.  Then we wound our way around and up and down. 
You may not be able to see how steep this hill is that Tom made me climb, but at least then we had to go down the other side. 
By the time we got there we were both ready for a seat on the terrace.  It was a bit windy but pleasant enough.
As we were seated, the server placed tastings of white port, olives, bread and butter on the table.  This wasn’t our first rodeo, so we knew we’d be charged for them, but it was pleasant to sit out and nibble, and in the whole scheme of things…
The menu had way too many things I liked but we narrowed it down. Tom had fish soup, which was light and only a bit creamy, with herbed toast cubes to add to it. 
 I chose a chilled melon soup, with “Iberian ham dust” and rosemary.  It was thin but certainly almost all melon, with the addition of a crispy slice of Iberian ham added.
The main course took quite a while to arrive, but we were chatting, admiring the scenery and in no hurry.
Tom’s main course was “Deconstructed Cataplana.”  A cataplana is a piece of copper cookware, a sort of clam shell thing with clamps to close the sides to steam seafood (or whatever). He had several mussels, a couple of head-on langoustines, a few shrimp, big chunks of two different fish, all in a very tasty sauce with a good bit of tomato, a tiny bit of cream, and a very pleasing amount of spice.
My main course was turbot, a fish I love.  Several nice slices were seared and set atop a wonderful sauce (I must try to make it myself) of chives, white port wine reduction, ginger and balsamic vinegar.  Oh yum.  It came with a square of dauphine potatoes and sautéed baby zucchini and corn. 
          Desserts were tempting but we were getting chilly in the wind, so we went in to sign up for the cellar tour and tasting.

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that after the tour and tasting, we took a cab back to the apartment for our afternoon hour or so of rest!

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