Avo’s Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew

by | Feb 22, 2011 | Beer, Main Dishes, Recipes, Restaurant Overviews

Since my visit last fall to the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, I had been trying to find the time to head back down to try the Avô’s Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew. On my last visit, I didn’t notice the stew on the menu until after we had eaten our way into a seafood coma, and being Portuguese, I really wanted to give it a try. They sent me the recipe, and I made a batch at home prior to the visit, sautéing onion, garlic, fennel and adding in a can of diced tomatoes as I didn’t have any fresh, and it was absolutely delicious. You can easily substitute any seafood you have access to, I didn’t have mussels, but had picked up some frozen clams at Trader Joe’s, with shrimp and some cod. The recipe below doesn’t include linguica, but they do include it at the restaurant, small half moon slices, which I believe they fry off in advance, as there wasn’t the usual amount of grease you would find in the broth, I would estimate 1/3 of a linguica link per person.

Beer Sampler Tray with happy tasters!

It was another beautiful day on the patio (despite there still being snow on the hills and a colder breeze blowing than usual), the sun peeked out during lunch, and they have heaters on the patio along with a fire pit, and we enjoyed every minute of the view. We had to test out the Beer Sampler Tray again, and warm up with some appetizers, ½ orders of steamed garlic shrimp, fried artichokes and THE BEST calamari we had ever eaten, so tender, lightly breaded and crispy with mouth watering tartar and cocktail sauces. The Fisherman’s Stew was a perfect choice on a cold blustery day, a hot flavorful broth and plenty of mussels, clams and shrimp to share, flaky salmon and halibut, and that old Portuguese favorite, lincuica (the recipe below calls for pasta, but they don’t serve it with the pasta at the restaurant).

The other entrees were stout portions and equally delicious, the special of the day was a Crab Roll, heaped with fresh Dungeness Crab on a crusty browned French roll, a very savory remoulade and served with great French fries;

a classic Crab Louis, and a Celebration Steamer that comes in a big pot they deliver to the table filled with steamed Dungeness Crab, corn, potatoes, artichoke and garlic bread.

Chef Gaston Alfaro told us that we needed to come back when we hadn’t eaten so much and try their Beer-amisu (you got it, Tiramisu with their brew in it!!). I will definitely be back, there are still a dozen items on the menu I want to try!

Two hours of service with a smile, Chef Gaston with our server!

Avô’s Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, Half Moon Bay

A seasonal mix of fresh fish, shellfish, and linguica in a garlic broth with cilantro. Brewmaster’s Beer Suggestion: Princeton-by-the-Sea IPA; two varieties of English hops give our malty India Pale Ale a citrus-like aroma and flavor.  

The recipe for this signature dish came from the grandfather (Avô is Portuguese for grandfather) of one of the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s owners. Avô, who traveled the world as a merchant marine, regularly fished and visited Half Moon Bay during Prohibition. This recipe was created utilizing his worldly culinary expertise as well as the fish he caught in Half Moon Bay.

  • 24 clams (manila or covels)
  • 12 black mussels
  • 2 pound assortment of sea fish (swordfish, salmon, sea bass or rock cod)
  • Pasta for 2 (penne, fettuccini, linguine)
  • 8 oz. clam or chicken broth
  • 1 good sized diced tomato
  • 1 tbs. Canola oil
  • 1 tbs. Diced garlic
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher salt and ground black peppercorns
  • 1 tbs. parlsey, dill & basil
  • ½ cup sliced fennel

Start pasta per instructions. In a 5 quart stewing pot, sauté oil, white wine, salt, pepper, garlic and shellfish. Add in clam or chicken broth and steam for approximately 15 minutes until clams open. Add fish and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add chili flakes. Divide pasta into two bowls and cover with stew. Sprinkle with tomatoes, parsley, dill, basil and fennel. Garnish with cilantro. Serves 2.

We headed home with a Growler full of Sandy Beach Blonde Hefeweizen for Bob,

our favorite brew of the day with a squeeze of lemon.

Até logo, bom apetite!