Restaurante Pensao FLAVIO, Chaves, Portugal Best Restaurant EVER!!

Restaurante Pensao Flavio
I sometimes, not often enough, write reviews on tripadvisor and have never before given a 5 (their top rating) as I thought that no matter how good it was, if I give a 5 then I have nowhere to go if I find THE best restaurant. Restaurante Pensao FLAVIO gets a 5 from me because it is THE best restaurant I have ever been to.

The beef and potatoes to die for!
Let me qualify why I say this. The food is superb, the staff are superb, the atmosphere is superb, the music is superb (the owner and another female vocalist sing during the latter course of the meal), the vibe is superb. The whole concept is just superb.

It is so fantastic that I asked to spend my 50th (yes, I am that old!) birthday there. The Husband had offered to drive me to the ocean for lobster, scallops, etc. at a fancy-dress-up restaurant, but I asked to drive back a few hundred kilometres to have it in Flavio’s. Best decision ever and so I had the best birthday ever. Thank you darling husband and thank you darling Sergio, the owner!
Me on my 50th!
Another interesting/amazing aspect of this restaurant is, is there is no price. You do not get a bill. You get a little pot with a lid on it and you pay whatever you want to. And it works!! PLEASE give generously as I want this amazing place to go on forever!
Before the rush; Restaurante Pensao Flavio
But I’m getting ahead of myself. We arrived the Sunday before my birthday without a reservation and were very lucky to get a table as the entire restaurant was fully booked and Sergio (the owner) turned many people away. We booked for the following Sunday per SMS as I didn’t want to be turned away on my birthday!! Don’t get there early as the first 20 minutes is spent trying to rearrange tables to accommodate everyone.
He sings beautifully!  Restaurante Pensao Flavio
Once you’re seated the food just keeps on coming! Its Tapas style, but more substantial and of the highest quality. If I hadn’t made notes throughout the meal, I would have lost count of all the dishes we had and there were 14 of them. Fourteen!!! And while I’m at it, might I just mention that wine, beer and soft drinks just flowed like water. I had some superb Vinho Verde, the lovely Portuguese young sparkling wine which is borderline addictive!
Prawns and special cocktail sauce
Let me list the first 12 courses here before we get to the “pièce de résistance”:
Prawns with a Portuguese style cocktail sauce
Cod fish salad (cod ceviche with chickpeas and hard boiled egg)
Salpicao (Portuguese smoked sausage) with fresh pineapple slices
Black-eyed peas with chunk tuna and fresh onion and parsley
Pork ear with salad (really soft and good honestly!)
Russian Salad (a mayo veg salad – I’ll post a recipe for you soon)
Mussels (big and juicy)
Octopus and sardines, battered and fried to perfection (an absolute treat)
Tongue with vegetables
Broad beans with chorizo and blood sausage
Veal and vegetables
Shitake mushrooms in a deevine gravy
Main course (will tell you in a moment!)
Dessert – a sort of custard with cinnamon crumble and cream
Sausage with pineapple
And these were just the starters!!!!!! I know, only one exclamation mark is considered more than enough in the English language, but I can’t stop myself ‘cos it’s that good!!!
One of my favourites – fried octopus balls
By the time the main course came, I was already in danger of exploding, but this didn’t stop us from eating it. On our second visit, I actually took a big piece home with me as I just couldn’t eat it and didn’t want it to g to waste. I saw another table ask for tinfoil for exactly the same purpose.

The pièce de résistance / main course:
A meltingly soft, perfectly cooked piece of beef served with the best roast potatoes I have ever eaten and the most spectacular roasted green chillies (mild not hot). Just magnificent. And you could have as much as you wanted – they came round to ask if we wanted more. NO sadly as I would otherwise pop. AMAZINGLY good to say the very least.

After dessert there was coffee and schnapps. My goodness gracious, life just don’t get no better than this.

Ooh, but I have forgotten to mention a major highlight of the meal. The incredible owner (such a big heart you can’t but love the man) sings FADO half way through the meal. A lady sang too on the first Sunday we were there and she was equally good. You don’t have to understand Portuguese to love the music. Everyone in the restaurant joined in and it was like being part of a family, even if we had all only just met. (FADO is traditional Portuguese music.)

Sigh, I wish we were there again right now. Although probably best not, as I might just actually pop at some point! THANK YOU Sergio and all the wonderful staff members who work there. They speak most languages and are always trying to help and explain the dishes. Just superb.

Remember to book as you may otherwise not get a table and that would be terrible. They are open for lunch and for dinner 6 days a week, Tuesdays they are closed. Go and have a look yourselves – you won’t be disappointed.

Restaurante Pensao FLAVIA
Travessa Candido dos Reis, 12
5400-154 Chaves
TEL: 00351 961 693 890 (reservations per SMS in English no problem)

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