Wednesday 8 November 2017

Taberninha do Manel

I like little dimly lit places; I’ve already told you that. The light is flattering and the atmosphere is romantic but slightly melancholic. The d├ęcor is usually retro and that’s just how I like it. In Porto, we stumbled across ‘Taberninha do Manel’ as it happened to be conveniently right next to Calem … where, after our tour and an amazing port or two we were in desperate need of ‘FOOODDD’.

Wooden benches are the norm here, so take a seat and enjoy the mood. In fact, wood is everywhere … just check out the wine rack at the bar. The menu has an extremely healthy amount of local tapas, offerings are printed ever so quaintly and there are many to choose from. We dined on a spicy tomato broth of large mussels with silky caramelised onions. I, of course, am a little ashamed to say I made the cardinal sin of drinking this unbelievably delicious sauce straight from the shells. These were the real deal, so plump and fresh. All served in cute little terracotta bowls.

We paired this with a plate of two-year-old prosciutto, which was salty, sweet and delicious and plump, garlicky Portuguese olives trickled with herbs. Then came what was possibly the biggest taste sensation I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing … baked sheep’s cheese, layered on slices of freshly baked cornbread and drizzled with densely rich local honey. Oh, my days! My mouth has been watering at the memory ever since.

Of course, this had to be washed down with some wine. A Douro vintage of course. The best part being that not only were we offered a few free rounds of Port … no rushing you away and the bills don’t come quickly here. When it sadly came time to say farewell to this truly amazing eatery, we were very pleasantly surprised at just how reasonable the cost was.

Taberninha do Manel is located on the 4405-111, Av. de Diogo Leite 308, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.and has a beautiful view of Porto just over the Dom Luis bridge. 4 Tapas and a bottle of vintage red came to approximately £35.00.
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