Posts Tagged ‘Catalplana’

13th February
2010
written by spd
Steaming Cataplana is served table-side at Martinho da Arcada (img: Sean Patrick Doyle)

Steaming Cataplana is served table-side at Martinho da Arcada (img: Sean Patrick Doyle)

Determined to uncover more of Portuguese seafood than salt cod and sardines, David and I sat down to lunch at Baixa fixture Martinho da Arcada. Once a haunt of poet Fernando Pessoa, they are known for their Cataplana, a seafood stew from the Algarve region that is similar to bouillabaisse in France. The waiters scurried around us in white jackets and brought our starters of cabbage soup (another Portuguese staple) and asparagus, because I was feeling starved for greens. Sadly, when the asparagus dish came, it was pickled white asparagus that tasted only of vinegar, but the folly was forgotten when the Cataplana came! ┬áNamed for the clam-like copper shell that it’s cooked in, the instrument was unclamped at our table and the stew was served table-side. Steaming inside were sea bass, salmon, prawns, lobster, clams, mussels… we eventually stopped counting! After soaking up some of the flavorful broth with our bread, it was easy to see why Pessoa would loiter here…

Martinho da Arcada, Rua da Prata, 2-8 1100 – 419 LISBOA, ph. 218879259