Restaurante Rainha is a very special place for me, as it was the very first published restaurant review. I visited Vizela for the first time in late 2012 and was introduced to the wonders of the plethora of starters that every meal at Restaurant Rainha starts with. I had never seen anything like that. It was (and still is today) like sitting at banquet feast worthy of a king on a regular Wednesday dinner. Prawns, mussels, grilled pork loin, melon, clams, Padron peppers, salt cod salad, toasted bread with garlic butter, cured ham…I was stunned. And then came the main course, tender grilled octopus and grilled sirloin. It was a good thing we came to have dinner early, as we took our time to go through all the starters and eased the main courses down with the help of the local vinho verde. For dessert, Oscar, the patron of Restaurant Rainha, files up the table with all kinds of local sweets like bolinhol (Vizela’s official dessert), custard tart, profiteroles, homemade chocolate mousse. The cakes came on the whole and, again, you take as much as you want. After all, you are Oscar’s guest and there is no rush as the restaurant only has 11 tables and does only one serving per night. Every meal is crowned with an array of moonshine spirits, aguardente (Portugal’s equivalent of grappa), and even whiskey if you prefer. I love it that Restaurant Rainha is a cozy little space where you can just sit and immerse yourself in the wonderful variety and wholesomeness of the Cuisine of Northern Portugal.