Gastronomical Seduction :: Fish and Seafood
The fresh “sea fruits” in Guincho, at the table of Porto de Santa Maria
If there are characteristics that stand out in the Portuguese gastronomy, the variety and the high consumption of fresh fish and seafood are some of the most relevant ones.
You shouldn’t be surprised about it, Portugal is a country planted by the sea, with an immense coastline bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. Over history, this has contributed to making Portugal a land of sailors and fishermen. In this context, Cascais is also a privileged town.
Its history is anchored at sea and related to the fishing activities, which even though all the transformations, have been a charismatic element of Cascais and part of its beauty. Even these days, the bay is crowded with colourful fishing boats, which besides giving it a picturesque look is a true postcard of its traditional identity. This is its identity; bringing to the table some of the best you could ever taste in Portugal and the same identity that we would like to share with you today. Let’s introduce you to one of the oldest, most emblematic and highest-ranking restaurants in Cascais: Porto de Santa Maria, in Guincho.
The history of the Porto de Santa Maria restaurant began more than 60 years ago, in a small establishment at this same location, where sea tasting snacks were daily served. Throughout the last six decades, the constant attention paid to the quality of the products used together with the fresh flavours have brought the restaurant to its current status: a reference restaurant, known and recognised worldwide, where it’s common to find the most notable celebrities, both national and international, sharing a common interest: the appreciation of dishes with profound and excellent sea taste. From politicians, to artists and writers, sportsmen, film actors and actresses, famous singers and the most diverse celebrities, have been, over the years, signing the honour book with large compliments on both the gastronomic experience and the quality of service. We give you some examples: Jeremy Irons, Betty Faria, Cliff Richard, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Jennifer Aniston, Tony Blair, Madeleine Albright… the list is endless. On this list, the European monarchy plays a regular role, led by the ex-monarch Juan Carlos of Spain and his family, known for his exquisite taste for fresh fish and seafood.
Whether it’s for a family lunch or dinner, a gastronomic tourism visit or for a business meal, all who come to Porto de Santa Maria can be sure they will always find the best fish or seafood in the region, most of it captured along the Portuguese coast and supplied daily by local fisherman – all this to assure the highest freshness of all the products. Besides this, it is very important to keep everything fresh, highlighting all the proposals you might find here. This is why, while cooking the dishes, methods are rigorously applied to maintain the purest flavours from the sea. Porto de Santa Maria cuisine clearly avoids trying to over-season the dishes while keeping its sophistication and refinement, a clear proof of the quote “less is more”.
Among the most popular dishes you can find the “misto de marisco” (seafood mix), the “lagosta grelhada” (grilled lobster) and “robalo no pão” (sea bass in the bread). This last one is a true masterpiece of culinary art, originally conceived in this restaurant at the suggestion of an old customer who had tasted something similar in Italy and which is, currently, replicated elsewhere.
As could only be expected, the wine list that accompanies the menu is a true luxury. On the lower floor, beneath the restaurant, lies a real-life treasure, composed of wine bottles from different years, origins and even a section dedicated to the private cellars of some regular customers.
The cherry on top of the cake is the amazing setting surrounding Porto de Santa Maria. Tasting all these extraordinary flavours is done while gazing to the horizon that divides the sky from the Atlantic. Surrounded by natural beauty of the white sand dunes you are even given the opportunity to see an unforgettable sunset, before or after a refined dinner. Can you picture this?
All the beauty, all the flavour and freshness that the sea has to offer await you in Guincho. Come to contemplate and taste all this at Porto de Santa Maria and be surprised, through all your five senses, with the wave of this unique experience.