With an address in the charming Rua António dos Santos Lemos, not only in the number of doors, A Fornalha is proud to be the first: the restaurant specializing in traditional Portuguese cuisine is equipped with a wood-fired oven, unique in the area and an essential element for making their most requested snacks. The illustrious place – formerly home of cars, motorcycles and derived parts – still had a first life as a space dedicated to Italian cuisine.
And here we go to snacks: before, the mentor. A native of Aveiro and born on the Day of the Dead, Joaquim Reis was forced to live in Lisbon for about 10 years, and then returned to the city that saw him grow up. After working in the City Hall, he went through the ceramics industry (18 years in Vista Alegre) and only later landed in the usual passion: gastronomy. In Gafanha da Nazaré opened a take-away, sold some time later. He left the inheritance of an impeccable management. In addition to the “Rapa o Tacho”, an establishment still in operation in the neighbouring town.
The invitation to take up the position of cook’s assistant was received naturally. In “Telheiro” it was left a year or so, where to the acquired knowledge and it was adding an indomitable will to have a space in its own name.
Between being a collaborator and the act of becoming an owner, the entrepreneurial spirit shouted louder. Joaquim Reis identified in an old pizzeria – contiguous with the place where he worked then – unparalleled potentialities, capable of making the place a reference of the gastronomic routes Aveirense.
From the idea to the practice, he quickly tried to alternate the ingredients that gave entry to the mythical wood-fired oven: he replaced the mass of the pizzas with the finest meats and the refinement of the lasagnas by the freshness of the fish from the fish market. The result, based on a fruitful process of experimentation, has been delicious, as well as impressive: Mixed fish stews, Portuguese stew, chanfana, roasted fish, among other dishes capable of marveling the palate of the most demanding of patrons. Reported thus, the task to us seems easy. But it is only because it was effected by someone who confesses “always liked to eat”; When we love what we do, everything gains another flavor.
* In Mexico, the Day of the Dead is a celebration of indigenous origin that aims to honor the dead on November 2. It begins on 31 October and coincides with other Catholic traditions, such as the Day of the Dead or All Saints’ Day.