When faced with serious seafood cravings, Floripanos head to the island’s traditional Azorean fishing villages of Sambaqui, Ribeirão da Ilha, and Santo Antônio.
As a teenager, Daniel de Andrade worked as a cook on fishing boats, before turning landlubber and opening Gugu (Rua Antônio Dias Carneiro 147, Sambaqui, tel. 48/3335-0288, 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Tues.–Sun., 6–11 p.m. daily, R$25–35), which specializes in seafood. One of the most popular dishes is the seafood risotto with sole, crab, shrimp, squid, and oysters, which, like all the copious entrées, serves two.
Ostradamus (Rodovia Baldocero Filomeno 7640, Ribeirão da Ilha, tel. 48/3337-5711, www.ostradamus.com.br, noon–11 p.m. daily in summer, noon–11 p.m. Tues.–Sat. and noon–6 p.m. Sun. the rest of the year, R$40–50) is the island’s high temple of oysters. In a pretty pumpkin colored colonial house overlooking the sea, oyster junkies gather to savor these freshly farmed jewels, served by the dozen (and carefully prepared—ultraviolet radiation is used to remove impurities). The most popular recipes include gratinéed with cheese, doused with ginger and lime juice, and balsamic vinegar and orange sauce. Main entrées for two feature dishes such as grilled sole with shrimp and mushrooms.
Widely considered to be the finest gourmet dining experience on the island, Bistro d’Acampôra (Rodovia SC-401 Km 10, Santo Antônio de Lisboa, tel. 48/3235-1073, www.dacampora.com.br, 8 p.m.–midnight Tues.–Sun., R$70–80) is located on the highway leading north from Floripa to Santo Antônio, in an unpretentiously warm and welcoming space adjacent to the home of chef Zeca d’Acompora. Only 50 diners a night have the privilege of savoring d’Acompora’s contemporary creations, which combine classic French techniques with the chef’s Italian-German background and the island’s Azorean traditions. Although there is no set menu, past dishes included mango stuffed with fresh crab and grilled shrimp with Moroccan couscous. The wine list is superb. Reservations (which can be made online) are essential.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition