Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Two wonderful fish meals – Praia d'Adraga and Porto Brandão

While exploring the region around Lisbon this week, CRM and niece, Z, enjoyed two wonderful fish meals.

The first was in the Restaurante Maré Viva at Porto Brandão, a short ferry trip from Belém. Here we had a very substantial but very tasty Arroz de tamboril e gambas (monk fish and king prawns cooked in a tomato and wine sauce with rice). As always, a very warm welcome from Antonio Castela and his wife. And, as always, some conversation about football. The restaurant reflects Antonio's dedicated support of Benfica - we are surrounded by banners, flags and photographs. Interestingly, this is a restaurant that is a truly Portuguese family restaurant. As far as we could tell, we were the only non-Portuguese customers.
A visit to the magnificent cloisters in the Monasterio dos Jerónimos and a walk along the Tagus helped build up our appetites. And we managed to slip in for a couple of Pastéis de Bélem before we returned to Lisboa.

The cloisters, Monasterio dos Jerónimos, Belém (CRM)

The second was at Praia d'Adraga, a favourite spot close to Almoçageme on the Atlantic coast just north of Lisbon. This week the breakers were impressive but it didn't stop Z from dipping her toes in the sea!

 Impressive breakers at Praia d'Adraga (CRM)

Not only is Praia d'Adraga an idyllic beach set in a picturesque cove but it also boasts one of the best, if not the best, fish restaurants in the Lisbon area. The fish is always the freshest of fresh, the highest quality and cooked to perfection – simply grilled and brought immediately to the table. Plain boiled potatoes and salad provide the perfect accompaniment, enhancing the delicate fish flavours. This time we started with some amêijoas a Bulao Pato (a wonderful traditional dish – clams with coriander and garlic) then opted for robalo (sea bass). Washed down with a glass of good Alvarinho (2010 Muralhas Vinho Verde), this was a prefect lunch which set us up to explore the nearby World Heritage Site of Sintra.

Sintra Memorial to those who fell in The Great War – spotted in the trees (CRM)

Sintra – a restaurant balcony (CRM)

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