A star on the Porto dining scene since opening in 2015, Antiqvvm is the city’s most romantic restaurant—beginning with its location at the wooded edge of the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal on the ground floor of a noble 18th-century villa whose upper floors house a period Romantic museum.
The retro-meets-modern decor features roomy banquettes that look out large windows to the Douro.
A cooking station in the dining room prepares welcoming treats with ingredients such as “tomato snow” and “coriander water,” both of which complemented a starter of mackerel ceviche. Chef Vitor Matos composes complex dishes based on Portuguese and Mediterranean ingredients and modern techniques. In his culinary poetry, dots of coconut, bergamot or yuzu gel or a layer of small nasturtium leaves combine with salmon, caviar or lobster.
The approach results in soulful symphonies of flavor.
Taste the harmony in a river-meets-sea main dish called From Rio Douro to Foz, wherein freshwater pike on a green bed of creamed parsnips and plankton is dotted with mussels and oysters, all of it doused in an intense broth of fish stock and Port wine.
Port lovers’ desserts include Black Gold—a decadent bowl of chocolate and hazelnuts along with coffee in various forms and textures. Sommelier David Gomez’s wine list includes 500 Portuguese labels covering stars like Wine & Soul Douro Pintas 2015 among reds ($139) and Fontes Da Cunha Encruzado Dão Munda 2015 ($30) among whites.