By Robert K. Stephen (CSW)
(PORTO, PORTUGAL) – If you are looking for Old Porto seafood my favourite restaurant in the Riberia District of Porto is Postigo do Carvão in a narrow little winding street accessible by foot. It’s been a couple of years ago since I ate sumptuous fish dinners there and rest assured the fish powerhouse remains with all sorts of temptations from the sea and the quality and hospitality remains. I will stand by my original review. Consistency is a hallmark of a great restaurant.
I can’t repeat my review of two years ago but what I can say is the desserts offered at Postigo are a definite threat to the main fish show! Alexandre Osório runs a tight ship at Postigo. After a huge lunch all I could face for dinner at Postigo was a sea bass filet and its decadently delicious potatoes until dessert was offered and not appearing to be rude I reluctantly shared it with my media buddy.
My reluctance was very quickly shattered by three desserts prepared by Alexandre’s mother, Maria-Emilia, which consisting of a Coconut orange cake, Vanilla Coffee Cream Chocolate cake saturated with so much decadent delight I was knocked silly and to top it off an Egg Chocolate Roll Cake. Reeling in sensual confusion a Kopke 30 year old Tawny Port was poured with the dessert. Are you thinking Port is best served to pudgy Englishmen in a stodgy club?
Think again. Tawny Ports have a delightful candied orange taste to them with a good touch of acidity to compliment desserts with orange, egg or light chocolate. The Tawny elevated the desserts with a persistent candied orange finish. Its aroma of burnt strawberry, stewed rhubarb and candied orange all in some watermelon reduction sauce was sheer evidence Port has a future in the dessert league. In fact its brownish and reddish tinged colour presents a side of Port that illustrates Port has a bigger future than Stilton or chocolate accompaniment.
I am a bit worried about Alexandre. How can he be trumped with all the marvellous seafood? Out of left field by his mother Maria-Emilia. I never eat dessert but at Postigo which is better? The seafood or the desserts with Tawny Port? If only we could all be confronted with such terrible choices in life.
(Postigo do Carvão, Rua da Fonte Taurina, 24 a 34 (à Riberia), Porto, Portugal, Tel. 351 22.200 45 39, website)