An enviable waterfront location adds to the allure of this stylish maritime-themed venue. Set in a refurbished 19th-century dockside warehouse decorated with mismatched furniture, rope ladders and the... Read More
An enviable waterfront location adds to the allure of this stylish maritime-themed venue. Set in a refurbished 19th-century dockside warehouse decorated with mismatched furniture, rope ladders and the odd engine room component, this is not your usual wine bar ambiance. The antique-chic interior design belies a more formal wine list that numbers around 260 different labels, chosen personally by resident sommelier João Chambel. Ports, Madeiras and, interestingly, a number of gins reinforce the options. Eighty percent of the selection is Portuguese, with French, Spanish and Italian wines also listed. Among the New World labels is an earthy red, L'Aventure Optimus from the Paso Robles region of southern California. "The list is always evolving," points out João. "Nationally, our wines represent a melting pot of Portuguese culture." Among his own personal favourites is the wonderfully named Cavalo Maluco (Crazy Horse), an intense fruity red from Portugal's Terras do Sado winegrowing region. Another recommendation is the 2010 Fonte de Gonçalvinho Reserva Inconnu, from the Dão. Rarities such as Areias Gordas, a late harvest 2009 from producer Fernão Pires, and Alboroque Vinho Branco Aperitivo 2012, recently launched by Tomas Vieira da Cruz, heighten an already impressive choice. Helping to soak up these liquid assets is a delicious menu of petiscos, Portugal's version of the Spanish tapas. Their fantastic cheese platters are particularly suited to the wines, which can enjoyed by the bottle or glass. Part of Vestigius's wider appeal is the fact that it doubles up as a live music venue. On selected nights customers are regaled with an eclectic soundtrack, anything from homegrown fado to world music. The walls display regular art and photographic exhibitions and a library of books is also at hand.