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“Interesting menu”

Adega de Sao Nicolau
Ranked #91 of 1,743 Restaurants in Porto
Certificate of Excellence
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed February 20, 2013

We had eaten next door at A Grade the previous night and thought we would try this restaurant the following night. A good choice on our part. We had 2 items off their daily specials menu and both were very good. Some of the reviews we'd read mentioned the crab cake starters as being very good but we found them to be pretty much the same as we'd had elsewhere and would recommend foregoing them as the portions are large. We had the oxtail and beef cheeks and had a long debate over which was better. Our waiter & waitress seemed to be in training but they tried hard and added to our enjoyment of the meal For desert with had the sweet pumpkin pie with Jesuits because of the name and it was very good. My wife does not usually eat desert but she had way more than her share. She really liked the Jesuits although our waitress said that they were too small to be Jesuits and should have been called seminarians. I almost forget to mention that the interior had been very nicely, warmly remodeled.

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1  Thank bill1964_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 3, 2013

We were recommended this restaurant by our B&B (SixOnly) and it was an excellent recommendation. If walking past, we probably would have missed this place and from my perspective it doesn't look like much from the outside, but the inside has such a great atmostphere. It's like you're sitting inside a ship, wonderful lighting. The fish we had was excellent and the waiter recommended some great wine. Well priced also.

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Thank cellini03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2013

A local contact recommended Adega S. Nicolau for our first night in Porto. We loved it so much that we went back four times, and every meal was a treat. It is a family-run restaurant, and it almost feels like you are being invited to a Portuguese home for dinner. The place is tiny, but the decor makes it cozy and inviting.

The servers speak English and are unfailingly friendly and helpful. We didn't always understand the extensive list of daily specials on the menu, which are printed only in Portuguese (the regular menu offerings are translated into English). We asked for the waiter's recommendations on the best dishes from the daily specials, which we figured were probably the freshest offerings, and we were never disappointed. We had an incredible chicken with wine sauce (a huge portion), a delectable pork cutlet that was simply seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic, a "stuffed" veal dish (we were not sure what that meant, but is was tender and delicious), and shrimps with garlic. We also tried the regular menu offerings of octopus with rice (surprisingly tender) and sardines (a must-try in Portugal). The various potato side dishes (fries, boiled potatoes, and homemade potato chips that came with the shrimp) were prepared with great care and were fresh and tasty--definitely not after-thoughts. We fell in love with the light cod fritters that were complimentary before the meal (much more delicate tasting than some very "fishy" versions we had elsewhere in town).

As I said, it felt like were were being treated to a lovingly prepared meal at a friend's home. That ambiance carried over to the service, which was attentive and hospitable. The servers took time to chat with us to find out how we liked Porto, what we had seen, and to offer their own recommendations on things to see and do in town. (The waitress even called to find out the weekend hours of some of the port cellars in Gaia for us!) When it was slow, members of the family and staff occasionally sat at a table for a meal, which added to the cozy, family atmosphere of the restaurant.

The Adega S. Nicolau is tucked away at the end of the main street by the water up a small side street, and you wouldn't necessarily see it if you weren't looking for it. However, it's definitely worth the effort. The food is fresh and authentic, and the prices are much lower than you will find at the lower-quality tourist places along the water. I can't say enough good things about the food, the service and the overall experience. Best to go early (which was fine with us as Americans, since we like to eat really early by Portuguese standards)--it can get quite bustling after about 8:00 p.m. or so. I'd suggest asking the server for his/her recommendations on the best dishes that evening, because they never steered us wrong!

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1  Thank wbpld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2012

We came here because it was recommended. And we were not disappointed. Believe me this is a very good restaurant. Fantastic place with a very special interior design. Sit down, relax, see what the locals are eating and ask for the same. We were recommended filled pork stomach, but we did not have the courage to try it. But next time!

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1  Thank BigCod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2012

On our first night in Porto, we had a great dinner here following a recommendation from our nearby hotel. It's close to the river and tiny, but family-run with enthusiastic service. The fried sausage starter was delicious, and for mains we had grilled sea bass and small sardines, both lovely. Very simple fare but fresh and tasty. The "heavens cake" for dessert was, um, heavenly - made from almond meal and citrus. Good value and not at all touristy, although they do have an English menu and speak it well. Our American neighbour was raving about the prawns in garlic! You can't go wrong.

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Thank Amanda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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