The classics are always the refuge to return to after giving us a tour of the world; they are a reference, an infallible resource, and that’s what makes them so valuable. El Mosquito in Vigo is one of these restaurants, as long as they are proud of their history but live in the present, because they work every day with the illusion of what has just begun. El Mosquito has been in the Casco Vello de Vigo since 1930, and, as it couldn’t have been otherwise, recreates the traditional Galician cuisine with the special predilection for the recipes where the fish is the protagonist and the varieties of shellfish from the Galician rivers. The theme of the restaurant is conditioned by its location in one of the most emblematic fishing districts of Spain and has the virtue of being a must for outsiders and at the same time be the restaurant for the citizens of Vigo.
As nothing is forever, time passes and people also endure in memory, in 2015, the restaurant is managed by Sonia Iglesias and Santiago Bello, two catering professionals who have been able to take over, keeping the essence and the original idea, but bringing a touch of avant-garde cooking to offer some other options to the diner, always using the best quality products of Galicia. When they arrived, they were very clear that they were only going to do what was essential, when in fact they really did improve everything. The restaurant is located in the historical area, in the heart of the most monumental Vigo, in the square of “A Pedra”. It has always been customary that they different people who come to the city pass by El Mosquito, and especially people of the arts or literature, although as the staff of the restaurant assures: “Each client is a personality,” which makes you feel at home with a friendly and attentive treatment that is managed by the best hosts.
By tradition, the style of Galician gastronomy is subordinate to the imposing raw material of which is available and still remains in the kitchen of El Mosquito today. The main obligation is to bring the best product from the markets, forma he best selection of fish and shellfish, always respecting the seasons, going through vegetables. The seafood is one of the most popular options in the restaurant, as it’s a product that is served practically all natural, almost without touching it. Depending on the availability of the day, they could offer shrimp, barnacles, clams, spider crabs, crabs, crayfish, oysters, clams, scallops… The octopus is another house specialty and as it has to be, you can taste the feira or a delicate recipe, prepared on the grill with shavings of foie gras and potato cream. New recipes are introduced as an entrée to share as “prawn ravioli and crab interior” or “Carpaccio of wild sea bass, chives and ginger”.
Further down the menu appears the classic cocochas of hake pil pil or fish like turbot, seabass, monkfish presented with Galaician ajada (sauce with garlic, olive oil and paprika), grilled, stews, or oven baked. The rices that are made are great classics and one of the best options, like the lobster or the “market” rices, according to the fish and shellfish of the day.
Although the winery is an example of diversity, the public, led by the context, mostly opts for the white wines of Galicia, which pair so well with the fish and shellfish. With the right temperature and the ice buckets filled with ice, the wines accompany lunches and dinners to enhance the final result.
To finish, the desserts are different and alternated the typical Santiago cake of the house with other, fresher mango soup style and passion fruit with ice cream.
El Mosquito is a small gastronomic temple, a place of worship you could almost say, and nevertheless, it gives off a renewed and cozy air, with the kitchen in sight from the dining room that’s decorated in a crude tone, very pleasant. There are about twelve tables where you can see a mural that reflects some of the visits that they’ve had since the inauguration of the restaurant. The atmosphere is one of respect for tradition, and reflects a piece of history of Galicia. However, it also exudes freshness, joy and a desire to look at the new times that await us.
Hours: Monday to Friday 1:30pm to 4:00pm and 8:30pm to midnight | Sunday 1:30pm to 4:00pm
Photos: Jesús del Río
Text: Víctor Sarmiento