Wonderfully intimate with an offbeat, hole-in-the-wall appeal, Artis is the personification of the classic wine bar – lots of wood, quirky décor and low lights. This used to be a jazz bar, and a... Read More
Wonderfully intimate with an offbeat, hole-in-the-wall appeal, Artis is the personification of the classic wine bar – lots of wood, quirky décor and low lights. This used to be a jazz bar, and a cherished old saxophone takes pride of place in a glass case on one of the yellowed walls. Also displayed are original ceramics by the celebrated potter Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro and a 1918 photograph of a Lisbon wine-tasting party – a great idea even then! Wine choice is select, around 50 different Portuguese labels, including port and Madeira, all sold by the glass. Even so, for those not familiar with wine from this country, it can still be a daunting (through pleasant) task trying to decide what to drink so Flavio Fernandes and his staff are on hand to take you through each region. Actually, they usually ask where you're from – northern Europeans, for example, jump at the chance of tasting a light, crisp Alvarinho, a vinho verde and Flavio's favourite tipple – so the team is sometimes already primed with suggestions. But be sure to try the Quinta de Vale de Pios, a hearty red from the Douro. A real treat, however, is Castelo D'Alba Vinhos Velhas Grande Reserva 2011, which also originates in the Douro. They serve a fine selection of petiscos here, tapas-style finger food: the shrimp in olive oil and flaming spicy sausage are genuine crowd-pleasers.