Restaurant Review: Porto, Portugal

O’Paparico


Should you find your way to O’Paparico’s elusive door, simply grab the copper knocker and rap-tap-tap your way into a parallel universe filled with glowing candelabras, gourmet pestiscos (tapas) and exceptionally gracious service. Savor small dishes of Azeitão, an unpasteurized sheep’s milk cheese produced at the foot of the Arrabida Mountains; veal terrine drizzled in Port wine sauce; and a buttery prosciutto from black pork, an Iberian breed of pig. For a knee-buckling experience, wrap your lips around the perfectly sweet and tender grilled scallop floating in coral butter, or the octopus ceviche showered in olive oil and coriander. Owner Sérgio Cambas fills his 1,200-label Portuguese wine list with everything from old-vine Colares to earthy Bairrada. For the fresh fish and wild mushroom dishes, consider the 1970 Chitas, made from ungrafted malvasia de Colares. From vines planted in sandy soils with direct ocean influence, this wine bursts with acidity and minerality. Or, for meat dishes, check out the 2013 Poeira, from the vertiginous schist terraces of the Douro. There is no wine corkage fee, so don’t hesitate to bring a few special bottles, as long as you reserve a sip or two for the curious staff.

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