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Six of us are taking a cruise which starts in Lisbon and will be spending three evenings in there in the middle of April. We're staying at the Hotel Avenida Palace near the Restauradores Square.   I

Yeah, we wanted to see Sintra but we're barely over 48 hours in Lisbon so it will have to wait for another time. I have pasteis de nata on my must-try list. Thanks for the recommendation of Pasteis de

You don't "see" Sintra. You experience it through the fog.

Solar was fully booked and was turning people away, as was 100 Maneiras (but it was on a Sunday when not many things are open). Ramiro doesn't take reservations. I booked about a month in advance.

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  • 5 years later...

Went to Lisbon most recently 4 years ago for a handful of days prior to heading to Madrid

 

For seafood, went to both Solar dos Presuntos and Cervejaria Ramiro. Both are good Lisbon options in their own way. Solar is the more real "restaurant", fancier and more upscale. Ramiro has very good seafood selection and as per its full name it has a much more casual "cervejaria" ambience ... and no, don't think of the upscale Cervesería Catalana in Barca ... think more upscale cafeteria and look at Goog Maps pics. Both are good, just depends on the desired atmosphere for the meal in question. For lunch, I'd head to Ramiro. For dinner with certain business associates, I might head to Solar.

 

I didin't bother with Belcanto (okay so maybe I might have called them the day before and was told that they were full and maybe I might have showed up at lunch time the next day to confirm that they were still full but it's only maybes on all that) but I did go to Avillez's nearby casual spot Cantinho do Avillez (in Chiado, there are now more than one, I believe) for lunch one day and I enjoyed the meal and friendly service. I also popped into his Mini Bar place another evening for the food / snacks and I recall it being fine. It was this sort of stuff ...

 

https://www.minibar.pt/images/MiniBar_Lisboa_CartaSobremesas_Website_PT_16Maio19.pdf

 

Went to Pap'Açorda but wouldn't go back for the food.

 

Went to Restaurante 100 Maneiras but it looks like its original location closed (cuz I'm thinking it was located near that park) and now there's a Bistro 100 Maneiras with the same chef and a gastro tasting menu (as before?) and also a bistro a la carte menu. Not sure what the exact situation is here. My imposed tasting menu meal was pretty good (considering the super reasonable price point) if you are in the mood to putter around with an imposed tasting menu.

 

Went to Belem and yes I did the "been there done that" Pasteis de Belem and yes I skipped the line. Had some empanadas and their custard thingies. Historical place, yes ... but I continue to have zero interest in custard thingies. I'd go back to Belem for the buildings though and someone post-visit mentioned the place called Enoteca De Belém. My notes says it's a trad resto with interesting local wines. It might be worth doing a look-see on this place ... for me, wine vs custard ... easy decision

 

I really like the National Tile Museum aka Museu Nacional do Azulejo !

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And just for fun and for my curiosity, I WhatsApp-ed a very knowledgeable Madrid-based resto owner friend* who knows everybody and anybody in the business and asked re up-to-date Lisbon info ... he said he wasn't up to date but he'd ask around ... I told him no rush ... later that day I received the following msgs that he forwarded from his source ... not sure of his source ... use accordingly ...

 

Tienes “Gambrinus”,  tanto barra como comedor, que es un clásico de la ciudad. “Belcanto”, que es un restaurante típico de estrella Michelín y está muy bien. Dicen que el mejor restaurante ahora mismo es “Feitoria”, pero no he estado todavía. También es recomendable “Alma”, un buen sitio para ir con pareja. 
 
Me decían ayer que un clásico como “Tágide” ahora hace cocina moderna pero merece mucho la pena. El local es muy agradable aunque hace años que no voy. Está cambiando mucho la ciudad por lo que veo en Instagram. Habla con Moralejo, siempre tiene buenas pistas, y seguro que te dice alguna apertura reciente, está a la última
 
Los foodies portugueses suelen ir últimamente a “Taberna de Calhau”
 
A “Euskakduna Studio”
 
Y a “100 Maneiras”
 
Y también dicen buenas cosas de “Prado”
 
Hay un hotel muy caro, “Santa Clara 1728”, que merece la pena pasarse aunque sea a tomar café.
 
A mí me gusta uno que se llama “Palacio Ramalhete”, de precio medio y con mucha personalidad.
 
Y alejado del turisteo.
 
Si te sobra la pasta una opción de primera es “Palacio Belmonte”
 
Si quieres estar en la Alfama tienes un hotel chulo/moderno: “Memmo Alfama”

 

 

* I'll be at restos in Spain and WhatsApp him real-time photos of the wine list and ask him what he thinks about a certain cuvee or vintage etc or if there are any special jewels are a certain page or two. He usually responds within 10 seconds and he's pretty much always on target. He's one of the more in-the-know people on Spanish wines in Spain. No need for sommeliers nowadays ...

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Thinking back I would only go to the seafood places again, or just stay in Spain (don't tell the Portuguese govt though, I was told I'm getting their passport), but maybe one of the new places is good. 

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I had excellent meals at Ramiro, Tasca da Esquina, and Prado.  Prado almost feels Nordic, with a pretty eclectic and good natural wine list.  Tasca da Esquina served me an exquisite piece of goat that was one of the best things I've tasted this year, with a slightly indian spiced (cumin? I don't remember tbh) spinach puree (babyfood style but tasty).  Sadly I was super full bc I ate some moqueca made by the chef at the wine bar I was tasting wine at first (Comida Independente).  I didn't get much of anywhere else, but I did eat quite a few pasteis, which I do not consider to be a waste of time.  I had a skippable meal at Enoteca de Belem and I don't think I'd return - an oversalted rice thing with shellfish.  I also had a bread stew that was fantastic at a little no name place that I could never find again, which was super weird and delicious.  There were a lot of interesting places that I had interest in trying but didn't have time to get to.  A meal at Solar dos Presuntos was tasty if old school, but the over-the-top actor waiters really get on my nerves and feels beyond outdated.  I don't appreciate being given a carnation at the end of the meal or some dramatic show of giving me more rice - its a total turnoff even if the food is good.  The strange Portuguese obsession with raw pineapple as a dessert, otoh, is kind of charming as far as I'm concerned.

 

I was in the city for 5 days and I did not meet a single American. The travel data I have does show that Portugal is still continuing to have increased global tourism, including from Americas, but that growth has slowed significantly compared to 2010-2018 (from 12% to 0.4% growth).  

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been spending a few days in Sesimbra, a quiet seaside resort near Lisbon which is famous for its seafood restaurants: so yes the seafood and fish are extremely fresh and of excellent quality and very good value but the cooking of the fish is a bit erratic.

All of the restaurants have a display of fish on ice and a tank of lobsters, spiny lobsters and crabs, and a charcoal grill out back where some guy does the grilling but if the place is busy or a friend comes by for a chat then your fish is going to be a bit overcooked.

The clams and prawns though were always perfect really.

 

By far the best restaurant in town is called O Zagaia which is new and requires reservations and does slightly updated versions of classic seafood dishes: amazing segreto of Iberico pork with clams and coriander, a sort of risotto with razor clams, great prawns etc etc. Amazingly it is also number 1 on trip advisor. Is this the first time TA has ever been right? About 100 euros for a huge meal for two with a bottle of wine.

Really top notch. 

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I have been spending a few days in Sesimbra, a quiet seaside resort near Lisbon which is famous for its seafood restaurants: so yes the seafood and fish are extremely fresh and of excellent quality and very good value but the cooking of the fish is a bit erratic.

All of the restaurants have a display of fish on ice and a tank of lobsters, spiny lobsters and crabs, and a charcoal grill out back where some guy does the grilling but if the place is busy or a friend comes by for a chat then your fish is going to be a bit overcooked.

The clams and prawns though were always perfect really.

 

By far the best restaurant in town is called O Zagaia which is new and requires reservations and does slightly updated versions of classic seafood dishes: amazing segreto of Iberico pork with clams and coriander, a sort of risotto with razor clams, great prawns etc etc. Amazingly it is also number 1 on trip advisor. Is this the first time TA has ever been right? About 100 euros for a huge meal for two with a bottle of wine.

Really top notch. 

You'd actually be surprised by how often Trip Advisor is right in the middle of nowhere locations on #1.  Once you get down to 3 or so its really best for phone numbers and even so I'd advise independent research but I think the lesser visited locations have a much higher hit rate.

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  • 2 years later...

Sala de Joao. Absolutely stellar. Portuguese ingredients with modern technique. Heavy on seafood. Better than any meal we ever had at Le Bernardin. Much less formal too. No tablecloths. 3 courses plus 3 amuses for 49 euros. Went for the wine pairings for another 13 euros. Bread and butter to start set the tone. Butter was mind blowing. It was slowly caramelized then rechilled. Just ridiculously good. Highly recommended. 
 

With meals so reasonable  I can afford a nicer apartment. 

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Senhor Uva. Wine bar with all natural/biodynamic wines and a vegetarian tapas menu. Seems like all the waiters were  previously sommeliers at more formal restaurants in town. Cool, small and funky space. We were only going to have a glass or two with one or two snacks but everything was so good we stayed for 2 hours, 4 glasses each and 7 or 8 tapas plus bread and cheese. 120 euros. 

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On 11/24/2021 at 7:16 PM, mitchells said:

Senhor Uva. Wine bar with ...

I presume that you know what the word UVA means

 

On 11/24/2021 at 7:06 PM, mitchells said:

Sala de Joao ... Bread and butter to start set the tone. Butter was mind blowing. It was slowly caramelized then rechilled. Just ridiculously good

The bread sounds bueno and the butter better ! but I bet budget-busters, right ?

So share, Senhor ... how much did that initial serving of bread and butter cost you, mitchells ?

A lot, I presume !

I ask because there’s no free lunch (nor dinner) in this world and from recent NYC experiences there’s very little free bread either. Wallse ran me within cents of $8, which makes no sense, for three skimpy slices of some small-loaved bread (which I could only laugh at … a Mich-resto charging for lousy bread, pffffft, pathetic) and I simply refused to shell out OVER ten for Portale’s pane di casa ... but since it included whipped butter I presume that’s probably a local bargain … their duck sure was superior to Intersucks and solidly cheaper too !

 

 

 

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