On a recent 48-hour jaunt to a wedding in Lisbon, I was finally able to indulge in the sheer joy of visiting a seafood zenith made (slightly more) famous by the notorious Anthony Bourdain, my kind of Chef. Cervejaria Ramiro – thronging with well to do Lisbonites on 3-hour, proper lunch breaks – is a place where Lobster is king, his minions are prawns the length of a small baby and angels are oysters and spider crabs stacked to the ceiling.
It’s not the most centrally located place, but thankfully so, as you get to share your table with Doctors and lawyers and shopkeepers and other tanned, happy locals who will apologize profusely for splashing your table setting with crab meat from a thwack of their seafood hammer, then break into loud and involving conversation about glorious food with you.
The aim here is to eat as much seafood as possible – the menu is a simple list of the day’s catch, with its weight by market price per kilo. Presentation is simple and accompaniments are limited to a set of tools to access crevices, and a fabulous wine list of Portuguese favourites, or beers by the “imperial” measure (small glasses, that stay perfectly chilled).
We slobbered our way through chargrilled king prawns, with garlic of course; a crab prepared with its brown meat made into a runny sauce to spoon onto toasted bread and butter; clams with garlic, white wine and parsley and goose barnacles – those knobbly, ugly, knuckle-shaped black things the Spanish and Portuguese devour by the bucketload – a mouthful of sea and wonderfulness.
Cervejaria Ramiro, Avenida Almirante Reis 1G-H, Lisbon