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Romantic Portuguese food menu for Valentine’s Day

What is romantic food? Perhaps this is a way too broad concept and, certainly, rather subjective. But, generally speaking, we’d say romantic food is one that is appropriate to order or cook on a date (forget about anything with squid ink!), easy to share with your lover (think bite sized foods versus massive ribs you’d be better off eating with your hands while getting messy…) and, if possible, with some aphrodisiac potential.

Like it or not, Valentine’s Day is a major celebration around the world and, besides exchanging gifts, one of the activities couples engage in the most is having dinner together. While many choose to go out, perhaps splurging on something a little special you may otherwise not be able to afford during the rest of the year (like one of Lisbon’s Michelin starred restaurants), others prefer to cook at home. We’re with the latter, as we believe there’s nothing more romantic than having someone cook for you in a more intimate setting.

When you think about typical Portuguese food, hearty dishes like cozido à Portuguesa (a boiled dinner of mixed meats and vegetables), garlic loaded alheira sausage or grilled fish may come to mind. Perhaps not the most romantic of foods. But, fear not, as even if you'd like to celebrate Valentine's Day with a romantic dinner Portuguese style, there are recipes you can opt for and which we can help you to easily make at home.

1. Start off with some espumante

First things first, choose a good wine to warm up the ambience. But, oh wait, shouldn't this be chosen according to the food menu? Not if we’re talking about a glass of wine as an appetizer. While you make dinner, it can be a good idea to start warming things up by enjoying a glass of espumante, that is, Portuguese sparkling wine.

Portuguese vinho espumante could somehow be compared to Spanish cava, Italian prosecco or French champagne - are you starting to feel the romantic vibes, yet? Choose an espumante bruto, that is, a dry sparkling wine whose sweetness won’t be overpowering and which you can easily keep drinking when the food is served. Bubbles are for lovers and, not only can this type of drink be brilliant on its own to let the festivities begin, it can also be great paired with appetizers…

2. Portuguese appetizers for Valentine’s Day

If you’re cooking a romantic Portuguese meal for your loved one, we would highly encourage you to look into the vast repertoire of Portuguese seafood recipes. Good options would be amêijoas à bulhão pato, clams in a tangy and buttery sauce flavored with fresh cilantro - see recipe below! Steamed or grilled s