I had one of my meals of the year at O Gaveto in Porto, a couple of weeks ago.
It’s a traditional Portuguese seafood restaurant in Matosinhos, the port area of Porto. It’s run by brothers João and Jose Silva, and the restaurant was started by their father.
The food is superb, and the service fabulous. The wine list is also one of the best Portuguese lists I have seen.
Specific dishes that thrilled included Bequeirão (above), which is anchovies that have been marinated in vinegar and salt for a week. Then they are taken off and put into olive oil and salt.
And then there’s Petinga (above), which is sardines marinated in olive oil with hot sauce. 50 years ago the district O Gaveto was located in was dominated by sardine processing factories. Now there are just four or five left.
We also had percebes (goose barnacles), oysters, and the freshest sea bass you can imagine.
We had some lovely wines to accompany:
Soalheiro Alvarino Bruto Vinho Espumante 2015 Vinho Verde, Portugal
This sparkling Vinho Verde has a smoky, mineral pear and citrus nose with a hint of melon. Lively, vivid and intense with bright, expressive grapefruit pith and orange pip notes. Very lemony with a hint of sherbet. 89/100
Niepoort Olo Branco 2015 VR Minho, Portugal
11.5% alcohol. Mineral, slightly salty, stony nose. Stony palate with grapefruit, lemon and mandarin. Really fine and expressive with lovely fruit and also precision. 93/100
Niepoort Bical Maria Gomes Vinhas Velhas 2013 Bairrada, Portugal
Pears, nuts, ripe apples and spice here with a lovely citrussy core and some stony mineral notes. Stony and intense on the palate with fine lemon and herb flavours as well as a touch of matchstick alongside the textured fruit. Focused and lively with grapefruit and lanolin hints. It’s not all about the fruit. There’s a base of fine lees here, and the wine has volume and richness lurking cloaked, but it’s trying its best to be slim. 94/100
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com