I always love a good food discovery. Specially if it comes across you serendipitously. Such was the case with our magical dining experience at Tapabento in Porto. http://www.tapabento.com/EN/contactos After our day on the beach we headed back to town and stumbled upon this square where people were dancing! It was so wonderful to see this happen and I was mesmerized by all the dancing. It was all so natural and liberating to see this all happening around us. This in many ways was really the culture of the Portuguese. Fun loving and from the way they dance so sensual.
All the sightseeing and dancing really worked an appetite for all of us and were all hungry. We really had no agenda for dinner and we remembered our concierge talking about this special little restaurant called Tapabento. So we walked to the restaurant where there was a bit of a line. Since we did not t have a reservation we just waited. We thought that we would not be able to have dinner there as the line was long and it really looked like a busy night. We were about to make a second dinner plan when the lady who owned the restaurant must have took pity on our hungry puppy dog eyes and made space on their counter top as the restaurant was really full to the brim. It was really meant to be!
The atmosphere was very warm and homey but to my surprise the food was above Michelin level! We started with some local cheeses which blew me away. Paired with a vibrant local red and it was love at first bite! LOL! The owner who was so friendly suggested we order the potato pie to start which was like a Spanish tortilla but more gooey. Then came this thing of beauty! I don’t usually order foie Gras but since she was so insistent we tried this dish we obliged.
It was like a piece of ART! The plate came arrived like a celebration of summer. Perfectly cooked generous portions of Foie Gras in between crisp bread slathered with stewed fruit, nuts with micro greens. Drizzled over the dish was this sublime sauce of dark vinegar and sweet honey with a slight punch of heat. It was one of the most unforgettable dishes I tried on this trip and I wish you all could have tasted this dish. I could have left it at that and be happy but there was still more food to come.
We ordered two more dishes like the steamed mussels with a Thai style sauce and my favourite Bamboo Clams which were steered in this bright citrus based sauce that just was a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the delicious clam.
We made room for desserts and they sent over this peanut butter like crumble that was just heavenly and a dense moist chocolate fudge brownie that knocked me out cold! LOL! This was my best meal in Porto and if you do have the chance to visit this beautiful city go do yourselves a favour and eat at TAPABENTO!