Sr. Fado’s: Captivating music in an intimate setting

May 4, 2013
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Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 2.06.47 PMBefore midnight, Ana Marina is a cook and hostess, wearing flat clogs and her hair tied back. At the
magic hour, when the lights dim after all the customers have finished their cataplana (Portuguese
seafood dish), she transforms into a fado singer in a black dress, black hose, black heels and a vibrant
red shawl.

Marina and her husband Duarte Santos started Senor Fado’s restaurant because of a shared love of
fado. She has been singing fado since the age of 12 and has recorded three CDs; he has been playing
Portuguese guitar since he was 14.

Sr. Fado’s only has nine tables, so reservations must be made weeks in advance. Customers can expect
an intimate night of local food and entertainment. Seafood and port wine is served around 9 p.m.; the
fado performers start around midnight. The performers are the Santos’s friends; a feeling of fellowship
fills the restaurant as the Spanish and Portuguese guitars start playing, and one singer after another
stands to belt out the melancholy songs.

“The treatment we show customers is like they’d be in my home,” Duarte said.

Duarte said Sr. Fado’s is recognizable from touristy fado places because the price is a lot cheaper.
He said that many places will add a fado tax to end of the bill, but at Sr. Fados, the price of the
entertainment is included.

Prices start at about $43 euro apiece for a group of four. Doors open at 8 p.m.