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fredbram

Lisbon Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations

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It seems you've had a quite nice trip :)

Hope you've enjoyed enough for a soon return :)


Filipe A S

pastry student, food lover & food blogger

there's allways room for some more weight

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therese, what a great trip and wonderful report! Next time, how's about a slide show with accompanying tastings? (What? You have a life besides sharing your food stuff with us? Hmph. Well, a girl can dream.)

Always love reading your stuff. The question remains: Can [this travel companion] pee in the ocean? (Can she, not "did she." Okay, that too.)


"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office

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Can [this travel companion] pee in the ocean?  (Can she, not "did she."  Okay, that too.)

Yes, she can. Or at least she says she can and I've no reason to doubt her.

By way of explanation, my tag line (the question "Can you pee in the ocean?") is the result of a trip to Italy a couple of years ago with another friend who turned out to be, well, picky. I'd known she was picky about food (no red meat, no shellfish other than shrimp, no fin fish with anything like a head or bones) but I had no idea that she'd be incapable of using most of the public WCs in Italy. By way of illustrating the problem she pointed out that she was incapable of peeing in the ocean, ever, under any circumstances.

So now whenever I consider traveling with somebody I ask them first if they can pee in the ocean.

For what it's worth, WCs in Lisbon were uniformly tidy and well-equipped, and apart from needing to know that the appropriate letters are "S" (for senhoras) and "H" (for homems) there were no adventures worth mentioning.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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It seems you've had a quite nice trip :)

Hope you've enjoyed enough for a soon return :)

My next trip is to Italy, in June, but I certainly plan to return to Lisbon with my family some time soon. Maybe I'll visit some of this sites instead of just eating all the time. :wink:

Many thanks for your help planning this trip. And thanks as well to the others who made suggestions.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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Great info on your trip, Therese!

I wonder if there were any surprises in the foods? Obviously, fish plays a big role in the diet but were there any ingredients or foods that you weren't expecting to see but did?

In your posts, I was surprised to read of "bland cheese". For some reason (unknown even to me!), I thought there'd be a fair amount of goat cheese in Portugal.

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In your posts, I was surprised to read of "bland cheese". For some reason (unknown even to me!), I thought there'd be a fair amount of goat cheese in Portugal.

Yes, plenty of both goat and sheep's milk cheeses. The cheese in question (from the lunch we prepared at home) was actually made from a mixture of different sorts of milk (the label shows the sweet little critters but you can't see it at the resolution in these photos) and just didn't taste of very much. Even leaving them (there several of them in a little mesh bag) didn't make them very interesting.

Cheese that we tried in restaurants were generally very tasty.

As for surprises in the in the Portuguese (or at least Lisboan) diet, not too many, particularly as I'd spent quite a bit of time thinking about the food in advance. I was surprised by the following:

1. cornbread (as we ate at lunch one day in the apartment, also used as crumbs with bacalhau in the lunch on Confeitaria Nacional)---I'd never thought of cornbread or cornmeal as being part of the diet. It would be interesting to know how and when it was introduced.

2. yogurt: I was expecting much better yogurt, but almost all of the brands available in the grocery stores (including Pao e Acucar, which had an enormous selection) were sold sweetened, and virtually all of them had an additive of some sort, either powdered milk or some other sort of thickener. Because M really, really wanted some nice plain yogurt I probably spent a total of at least one hour over the week reading yogurt labels. I did finally find one, a French organic product made with whole milk, nothing else (except the culture, of course). And it was delicious. So I'm left to conclude that yogurt was not historically a big part of the diet. Presumably milk was preferentially used to make cheese instead of yogurt.

Hmm, what else?

Well, various sorts of pate were pretty popular, with single serve packs of smushed up bits of this and that showing up alongside one's bread in restaurants.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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Great thread, Therese. I'm sorry that i have come to it so late and that you didn't get to Ramiro, the seafood restaurant in Lisbon that was mentioned upthread. Then again, it doesn't look like you did too badly on your dining choices! :wink:


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

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Great thread, Therese. I'm sorry that i have come to it so late and that you didn't get to Ramiro, the seafood restaurant in Lisbon that was mentioned upthread. Then again, it doesn't look like you did too badly on your dining choices! :wink:

Yep, I'm going to have to go back and try all those restaurants that I missed on this round. And some pastries---I didn't have nearly enough pastries this visit.


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If you didn't make it to Pastéis de Belém (which I assume you didn't, because you definitely would have mentioned it if you had!), then you most certainly did not have enough pastries! I'm not all that big on sweets, but those things are spectacular!

I've said it before and I'll keep on saying it: when you go back to Piriquita in Sintra, you must try the travesseiros! The queijadas are, of course, excellent, but it's the travesseiros that are the real stars of the show there.


My restaurant blog: Mahlzeit!

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If you didn't make it to Pastéis de Belém (which I assume you didn't, because you definitely would have mentioned it if you had!), then you most certainly did not have enough pastries!  I'm not all that big on sweets, but those things are spectacular!

As our time was limited and M is not a fan of egg-based sweets we didn't make a special trip out to Belem for pasteis. Of course, it turns out now that M is a fan of pasteis de nata now that she's tried one (she was actually the one who purchased the ones that we ate under extremely windy conditions on the top of the Elevador Santa Justa). I did drive by the pastelaria in Belem on my way to Cascais with M2.

I've said it before and I'll keep on saying it: when you go back to Piriquita in Sintra, you must try the travesseiros! The queijadas are, of course, excellent, but it's the travesseiros that are the real stars of the show there.

Exactly the opinion of my local friends: "You must return to Sintra and have the...well, I can't recall the name now, but they're shaped like pillows and they're really delicious." I have to admit here that one of the things that drives my interest in food is literary references, and the scene that I recalled in Sintra was the one in "The Maias" where the protaganist and his friend both spend their time trying to obtain an object that's simultaneously available and unobtainable. For young Maia it's a woman, for his friend it's queijadas.

Had I been with my husband I'd likely have made a point of dining at Tavares, as it's featured prominently in the same book.


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And speaking of pastries, I did figure out what this one is called: torta de Azeitao. And I'm pretty sure we consumed it in Azeitao.


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Hello all,

I'll be staying 2 days in Lisbon and 2 in Estoril in October with a friend.

[edited out because we have found a hotel]

More importantly, we are also looking for any recommendations for places to eat in Lisbon! Looking through the other threads I am quite tempted by Eleven. We'll be using public transport as much as possible, so that's a criteria when choosing, but we'd like to try anything between cheap traditional cooking and Michelin-starred, nouvelle cuisine extravaganza. The important thing is that the food must be interesting, and we have an enjoyable night out - not so bothered about "the most amazing foams and gels ever", so long as it's fun and relaxed. Of course, the food budget is not limited unlike the hotel.

We'd also appreciate any recommendations for lunch - again, anything from "lovely fish sandwiches shop" to "the set menu at that restaurant is worth a trip".

Finally, we don't speak a word of Portuguese (other than the usual words of politeness). Will this be a problem in Portugal? Should we quickly go through a week-long Portuguese crash course? How many Portuguese speak French or English? (just in case) It's also out of decency for the locals - I always feel uncomfortable speaking English abroad.

Thanks in advance!


Edited by Roger le goéland (log)

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Don't worry a bit about the language thing: many, many Portuguese speak English, especially younger people in Lisbon, and my French and Italian both came in handy on different occasions. You will be fine. Public transit in Lisbon is fantastic: clean, cheap, well-organized, and safe.

As for restaurants, I posted in some detail here about a week's holiday in Lisbon a few months ago, including pictures. I'd be happy to answer questions about any of those options in more detail. Here's the thread.


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Fantastic, therese! I loved the photos. I must confess I did read through the first page of your thread earlier, but didn't bother continuing because of the lack of delicious food in pictures. Thanks for the pointer because it was worth it.

I will read up a bit more about the various places available (including those you mentioned) and come back to this thread.

My only experience of Portuguese food is from a place called Cafe Tejo near Victoria station in London, where I've had an amazing seafood salad (octopus actually, but I'm a sucker for octopus cooked properly), and generally very edible fish and potato whatever it's called. The pastries were interesting, but as you say, on the sweet and heavy side (and reminded me somewhat of baklava-type Moroccan pastries). I'd like to give them a bit of an ad here because the owners are the most lovely people in the world, so if you're in London and near Victoria, and looking for cheap good quality food...

As for any locals who know Lisbon quite well, we will be staying in the Mercure hotel for a night (but probably not eating there) - any places close by? Does it matter that much, if the transport system is good? Breakfast - worth a trip to a local place, or shall we not bother and have the "international tasteless hotel breakfast"?


Edited by Roger le goéland (log)

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You are located pretty far out insofar as the very cool architecture and ambience of the older portions of Lisbon are concerned. I'm not familiar with the area immediately around your hotel, but as I mentioned the metro is easy to use. For breakfast I'd try Pastelaria Versailles , an old school coffee house not far from your hotel that I wanted to try on my visit this spring but couldn't. As per the web site they open at 8:00 AM, and you could either go sweet, with pastries, or savory, with an omelette. Coffee, juices, and fruits are all spectacular in Portugal.


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In Estoril for the best restaurants are Fortaleza do Guincho, and Porto Santa Maria.

http://www.guinchotel.pt/english/

http://www.portosantamaria.com/uk/eentrada.htm

Both restaurants are in Praia do Guincho ( 6 miles from Estoril )

In Lisbon, Eleven ok, and Veranda Restaurant, at Ritz four Seasons Hotel ( only dinner, lunch is buffet service )

http://www.fourseasons.com/lisbon/dining.html

regards

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Thanks for the tip therese, I don't know how you find all these things! Is it from a guide, or personal recommendations?

PauloR, thanks for the advice. How can I get to Guincho from Estoril?

I only have one night to dine in Estoril (as the conference provides a gala dinner), and one in Lisbon (but two lunches). Fortaleza do Guincho is looking very tempting.

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Thanks for the tip therese, I don't know how you find all these things! Is it from a guide, or personal recommendations?

For this particular trip I did a fair amount of research about Lisbon and Portugal, going so far as to actually study Portuguese (such that I can now read things like short stories so long as they're grounded in reality), and read (in English) some well-known Portuguese authors. This gave me a good idea of the topography of Lisbon, and also drove me to look for old-school places to eat.

If you're interested in that sort of thing I can give you some more instances (that I tried, or didn't get to try but would have if I'd had time).


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Please go for it! I am unlikely to go to Lisbon again for a while, so intend to make the most of those two days! I'm sure your advice will benefit many other members in the future.

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One place we did visit (pictures in the thread) was Confeitaria Nacional. Go upstairs to have lunch in the dining room. Inexpensive, very pretty room, very traditional food. Your lunch mates will be local businessmen in suits, and well-heeled ladies out shopping for the day.

The place we didn't visit that day was Martinho do Arcado. I know there's a web site for it, but can't track it down. It was famous as a hangout for Fernando Pessoa, famous for his poetry (which I can't bear, but that's just me).


Can you pee in the ocean?

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PauloR, thanks for the advice. How can I get to Guincho from Estoril?

Taxi,( is not expensive).

You can have lunch at Fortaleza do Guincho. Great views from the restaurant at lunch time.

IMO, Fortaleza do Guincho, is the best restaurant, in all Lisbon area.

For dinner , 100 Maneiras restaurant in Cascais, 10 minutes taxi from Estoril.

http://www.100maneiras.com/


Edited by PauloR (log)

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We didn't have time to visit Guincho (what a shame as it looked fantastic) but did manage a lunch at 100 Maneiras! It was pretty good, and I recon the tasting menu at 60 euros would have been fantastic value. However we only had time for a quick main and dessert - we considered a starter, decided against, which was good because we came through the plane gate a minute before it closed!

Also tried out various Portuguese places. We made the mistake of following the advice of the hotel receptionist for an evening dinner which was abysmal, worse than most of what the UK has thrown at the poor Frenchman expat that I am, especially for 40 euros!

Simple was best, pastelarias are awesome.

Photos and more detail to come once I sort out the transfer.

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Cool, looking forward to the photos. And yes, I also found that the simplest food was generally the best.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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You can also check "Le Brasserie de l'Entrecôte"...

Really very good, not too expensive, intimate without being fusty. Perfect steak, the hottest and crispest freshly made shoestring potatoes I've ever had; no menu, just "how would you like your steak cooked). Delicate small salad of tender mixed baby leaves to start, desserts (a warm soft moist chocolate cake and a creme brulee) very fine. Superb red wine list.

Thanks Filipe, one of the best meals I've had in a while.

Dan

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