FOOD AND WINE The meandering Chiado epicurist Tonight, for us, is all about the sea-food, but we catch a passing glimpse of a plate piled high with a sizable rack of roasted Australian lamb as it heads by. It comes with a red Douro wine rose-mary sauce according to the menu. Next time! Our dessert is the curiously named “Molotov.” Yet the allusion to violent conflagration is rather misleading. My Molotov turns out to be a huge apparition of egg-white meringue, gently infused with a subtly sweet vanilla cream and a texture that leans towards candyfloss. This is how dining used to be—and is again. chiadorestaurant.com Photo: Chiado & Senhor Antonio Tapas and Wine Bar Through the window of Chiado we see grey-haired waiters, attired in formal black waistcoats and traditional white aprons. Corkscrews are peeking out of their pockets. Warm greetings, pleas-ant ambient chatter and reserved good humour welcome us as we’re ush-ered to our seats. Tables are discreetly spaced and draped with starched white tablecloths. Baskets filled with impossibly thin gossamer toast confections and crunchy baguettes appear, along with dipping dishes full of smooth extra-virgin olive oil. Fortunately, before we overindulge, our waiter returns with a tray carrying a selection of fresh fish that Chiado flies in fresh each day from Portugal. Tonight’s centrepiece—a bulbous, Tech-nicolor orange fish with bulging eyes. The agony of choice! I plump for the lobster risotto and forgo an appetizer. The chef’s amuse bouche of cow’s milk cheese with a balsamic reduction can easily substitute for a starter. Two of 64 HOMEFRONT SUMMER 2017 our party are, however, less restrained than I and decide to split a starter: Grilled tiger shrimp spiced with piri piri, roasted jalapenos and banana pep-pers. Their shared portions are more than sufficient for us all to sample. It’s an engagingly spicy dish that lifts the shrimp to succulent perfection. Thank heaven, no one swoops in to interrogate us and find out how our first, or any bite, is tasting. But, rest assured, should we need anything, there are sufficiently attentive staff a mere raised eyebrow away. My thinly sliced whole lobster, cooked and apart from its claws, rests on a creamy, slightly crunchy risotto. Everyone has ordered differently from the wine list. I’ve opted for a glass of the Muros Antigos Loureiro Vinho Verde 2014. This is not a wine I am familiar with, but turns out to be a refreshing, lightly fruity white wine with a slight spritz and gentle acidity that nicely off-sets the richness of the risotto. Cornish Sea Salt Hidden on a lower shop shelf amidst a bewildering array of specialty salts, I find a small, innocuous tub of Cornish Sea Salt. Seemingly overawed by its bet-ter-known rivals, I feel it is an underdog that deserves a try. Turns out, it’s a wonderfully seren-dipitous discovery. The Cornish’s large but delicate flakes are, well, flaky and crumble nicely for sprinkling. There’s Photo: Cornish Sea Salt Co.