Christina and I landed in Lisbon late afternoon (it was just a two-hour flight from London).
We checked-in at Pousada de Lisboa, took a nap, and then walked to dinner at…
…Mercado da Ribeira. First stop, Balcão da Esquina for limpets. Prepared with garlic butter, lemon, and parsley.
Razor clams with spearmint and corinader. Our first seared tuna sandwich of the night…
…and a second one at SeaMe. This one was served on carob bread…
…and seared sardine nigiri. Love the salt here, soft and flecked on nearly every seafood dish we encountered this trip.
Gelato at Santini. Milk-caramel and raspberry, gently scoop-swirled together.
And a slice of chocolate cake/mousse/cookie from the bakery next door.
One more snack before heading home. A big, fat fig (so juicy). Stuffed with prosciutto. From Manteigaria Silva. We returned for post-dinner treats the next two nights but they were sold out both times. Little did we know how lucky we got that first evening.
A morning walk through town…
Lunch! Cervejaria Ramiro. First, the spider crab. Live…
…and then ready to eat. Sides of hot bread and butter to sop up all the brains and roe.
Goose barnacles, served chilled.
Grilled giant tiger shrimps.
The star of the meal…carabineiros! These were wonderful. So wild and red and sweet. We decided to come back again for lunch the next day. (Notice more of that local salt flecked on top.)
Post-lunch sweet at another location of Santini…
…more milk caramel, this time scooped with ricotta and red fruits. Christina had milk caramel with lilikoi.
Manteigaria to pick up pastéis de nata…
…a half-dozen for afternoon snack.
And snack we did! They were still warm.
A stop at Landeau for tea, sit down and chit chat time. Will return for the chocolate cake.
Dinner at Café Lisboa. Broad beans with cilantro…
…and Portuguesinha (a classic Portuguese pastry stuffed with beef and deep-fried). It’s large but mostly hollow inside, super light.
Bacalhau à bras. Another traditional Portuguese dish, this made of salt cod, potatoes, and eggs. Topped with exploding olives (which we would also encounter at other José Avillez restaurants over the next few days).
Lagareiro-style octopus. Perfectly cooked. Served with steamed/roasted potatoes and olive oil.
Back to Mercado da Ribeira in search of prosciutto-stuffed figs.
Morning sights…what a dream!
Conserveira de Lisboa to pick up a dozen tinned treats. Sardines, tuna, mackerel…many good things.
Back to Cervejaria Ramiro. This time we start with pata de negra…
…and then the “edible crab” (not sure why it’s call that). The spider crab from the previous day was served warm. Edible crab was presented chilled.
But really, all we wanted were carabineiros. All the carabineiros. In retrospect we should have ordered a dozen of these and nothing else. So very pleased.
Look at that!
And then a 20-minute cab ride to Pastéis de Belém…
…a pair to share.
Tore de Belem.
Back at the hotel it occurred to us that security might not allow us to bring all these tins in our carry-on. So we decided to eat all dozen tins for breakfast the next morning.
But first, dinner at Mini Bar.
We ordered the “Epic Menu” (basically a surprise tasting menu). Ready? From left to right: Ferrero Rocher (made of foie gras), El Bulli olives 2005, and green apple-spearmint Margarita.
Left: “roasted chicken” with avocado cream, cottage cheese, piri piri and lemon. Left: Algarve prawns in ceviche
Left: beef tartar cone with mustard emulsion. Right: tuna tartar temaki cone with spicy soy.
Foie gras terrine with grapes and port.
Pan-seared scallops with Thai curry.
JAburger with PDO beef and “tater tots” – heavenly!
A lime-lemon globe (custard, mousse, and sorbet) for dessert.
Mignardises of peppered truffles and lilikoi-coconut guimauves.
As decided the night before, we ate all the tins of sardines, tuna, and mackerel for breakfast. We ate it with toast, that local salt, and bits of granola. Followed by a quartet of pastéis de nata at the hotel restaurant (these were our favorite pastéis de nata of the trip…right size, super custardy and just salty enough). Polished off in time for lunch at Belcanto. Saving the best for last.
Table for two (and some of the most gracious service I’ve encountered in a long time). We did the Discoveries tasting menu, about 10 courses paced over 2.5 hours.
Recognize these exploding olives?
Garlic and carrots.
…we loved the flavors so much the server brought a whole cupful of the cooked beans for us to snack on.
Tuna tartare cones tucked inside the flower pot.
Chicken skin, liver mousse.
Plucked goose barnacles and finger limes.
Butters. Plain, tomato-sausage, and ash. All whipped.
Excellent bread service. (My only regret from the trip was not eating more bread during this lunch.)
A warm, nutty, super savory cornbread…possibly the best cornbread I’ve ever had?? On the right, a twisted brioche-esque olive roll.
Carabineiros! This time grilled with rosemary ashes
A hot porridge of bivalves and prawns.
A “Portuguese pot-au-feu”
Oxtail with bone marrow and foie gras. White truffles and veal tendons. Onion cream and Serra cheese. All the most decadent things, combined.
Palate cleaner of green plums, rose, and strawberries.
Like the globes from Mini Bar the night before, only in the flavors of tangerine.
And an all-Portuguese cheese plate.
Mignardises: lilikoi guimauves, frozen raspberry, olive oil gelée, and charcoal candy.
One last walk, and then off to the airport.
Till we meet again ^-^