and ice-cold beer
After a few days closed for renovation, the Marisqueira Azul has reopened with a new feature: it has a new layout with more seats at the counter, which is more or less to say, with more front-row seats of the city’s best shellfish. The changes were only made to the space itself, because everything else is just as it was: never change a winning team. The aquarium, 3.2 metres wide, which attracts more fascinated glances than a TV screen on match day, still houses lobsters, crabs and other crustaceans, which go from here straight into the pan. “The best shellfish is live shellfish,” maintains manager Manuel Aguiar, who has worked in the field for almost 30 years. He can tell at a glance whether a creature comes from the sea or has been farmed. Everything served at this marisqueira has been screened by Aguiar and comes straight from the sea off Portugal. The percebes (goose barnacles) are from the Berlengas islands, the shrimp and razor clams from the Algarve and the oysters from Setúbal; the clams are cooked à Bulhão Pato – as is traditional, with garlic and coriander. For a geographically correct meal where shellfish is concerned, the ideal is to opt for the mariscada Azul, a shellfish platter that is a kind of ‘best of’. It features plentiful clams, stuffed crab, goose barnacles, razor clams, oysters, shrimp and mussels and costs €79. At Marisqueira Azul, new features do not come all at the same time. As well as continuing to be showcase for fresh shellfish, the management promises, very soon it will also offer Portuguese fish for the delight of their customers. So keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, order an ice-cold beer to wash down your shellfish, and then end your meal with the traditional marisqueira ‘dessert’: a prego do lombo (sirloin steak sandwich).