Happy Thomas’s in (a very windy…) Lisbon for our birthdays!
3 days in Lisbon were most definitely not enough! We could easily have spent another week there without getting bored once. We stayed in a fantastic apartment, well positioned in the Alfama/ Graca areas which had the best view of the rooftops and the river, and was so comfy we had some great nights sleep. Also….. we ate one of the best meals we have ever had!!!
We arrived on Tuesday at lunchtime so dropped the bags at the apartment and headed out to fill our tums. We ended up sitting outside a restaurant near the river, next door to the Saramago Collection (never far from a literary connection!) and ate some grilled fish with salad. We also had our first bottle of ‘green’ wine- vinho verde, a young wine which is made to drink within 12 months of bottling. It is fresh and ever so slightly sparkling and very refreshing. In the evening I made some pasta with a salami, pepper and tomato sauce, washed down with some gorgeous red wine in our apartment. A great first day.
On Wednesday we had the best meal of all time! Not just the food but the ambiance and the experience. The restaurant was L’Entrecote, on Rua do Alecrim 117-120. The restaurant only serves steak, and this confidence in the quality of the cooking and the ingredients was really refreshing. The only choice was the salad for starters and the wine!
My salad was a cured salmon with cherry tomatoes. The salmon was cured in citrus juice and dressed with a delicious, herby oil, adding a freshness to the dish which was delicious. Colin had a green salad with chopped nuts and a herb vinigarette- also delicious, and a good palate cleanser before the main event.
The steak was cooked medium rare and served with a secret recipe sauce- there were definitely green peppercorns in there, and lots of herbs, tarragon and parsley and more. The fries were super thin and crispy and kept on coming- much to Colin’s delight!!! We enjoyed it so much we opted to stay for a dessert….
I had the pineapple carpaccio, dressed with a lemongrass syrup and pink peppercorns. I never would have believed how well these flavours worked together. Colin had a raspberry cheesecake which was light and tangy. The service was perfect and the room simple yet stylish, a little like a Parisian brasserie. All in all a perfect experience, quite possibly the best we have ever had!
Thursday was my birthday and we went sightseeing to Belem. Lunch was had in a typical Portuguese restaurant, filled to the brim with locals and business people enjoying some very good food. I had sardines, grilled to perfection, and Colin had a brochette of pork which was charred, yet juicy, with salad and potatoes.
Dinner was possible the 2nd best meal we have ever had! The restaurant was tiny, with only room for 18 seats, and was preparing a 1 big table for a function but agreed to fit us in. It was just around the corner and down the hill from our apartment- but I couldn’t see what it name was!
For starters we shared some warm fresh bread served with 2 ‘dips’: a bright pink beetroot puree which was sweet and earthy, and a fine herb one. Both delicious alongside some small black olives.
My main course looked and tasted fabulous! This is a saltimbocca with chicken, ham and sage with a white wine sauce, served on crushed, roasted potatoes and topped with some spicy, crispy, tasty bits.
Colin’s was no ordinary burger- the meat was seasoned perfectly, there were sauteed courgettes and crispy potatoes (although only 4 which was sad!) and a tangy mustard dressing.
For dessert we had a passion fruit mousse and a raspberry panacotta- both light, fruity and utterly delicious. We would eat here once a week if only we lived closer!!!
Unfortunately Friday arrived and to the airport we headed. But a great holiday in a fantastic city. We will most definitely be back- and soon I hope.