Which dishes and drinks can’t you miss?
Start with the appetizers.When you go to a restaurant, bread, cheese, olives and butters will be put on your table without you having ordered it. That is pretty common around here. It is not included but it is not so expensive. So, you’ll pay it only if you eat. You must try these appetizers:
– the pataniscas de bacalhau and the pastéis de bacalhau (with mashed potatoes, parsley and shredded codfish)
– cheeses and smoked sausages…
…such as the butter sheep cheese from Azeitão and the roasted smoked sausage.
– caldo verde, the Portuguese national soup made with mashed potatoes and onions and thinly cut green cabbage.
But if you are a fish and seafood lover you came to the right place because we are the country in Europe that eats more fish and prices are quite nice.
The codfish can be prepared in 365 different ways and it is normally considered the most Portuguese dish of all dishes.
So, why not tasting it?
– The Bacalhau à Brás (Brás Codfish), made with shredded codfish, eggs, thin french fries, olives and parsley.
– the Bacalhau com natas (Codfish with cream)
– the Bacalhau no forno (Codfish in the oven)
Any grilled fish will taste great specially if you are sure that it is really fresh. Sometimes the waitress shows you the fish before it is prepared.
– the sardinhas assadas (grilled sardines)
If you like seafood, get ready to see the lobsters in the aquarium and get ready to taste:
– the arroz de marisco (seafood rice), prepared in the water where the seafood was boiled, it has tomato and aromatic herbs.
– the cataplana de marisco (seafood cataplana): it is 2 half moon copper pots where a stew in prepared with different fish and seafood.
– the açorda de marisco: it is made with wheat bread mixed with seafood water and some aromatic herbs and garlic.
If you prefer meat, taste:
– the carne de porco à alentejana, which are cubes of pork meat seasoned with paprika and fried clams with coriander.
– the cozido à Portuguesa, composed by a great variety of boiled meats, rice, potatoes, beans and vegetables.
– the feijoada (bean stew with different pork meats)
– the vitela estufada (stewed veal)
In Summer time it is quite common to see Portuguese people in the esplanades having a fresh beer (cerveja fresca) either a Super Bock or a Sagres whilst they are eating caracóis estufados (stewed snails). Dare to taste them!
The Portuguese people are also very gourmand. So, you’ll find many yummy deserts made with eggs, sugar and nuts. Some of those are convent sweets, that means the nuns invented them. Maybe that is the origin of the most famous gastronomical wonder of Portugal and also the most wanted cake in Lisbon – Pastel de Belém – and to taste it you must go to the pastry shop that holds the secret of the recipe not to be revealed since 1837.
As Portugal is a great producer of wine, there is a great variety of white, red and rosé wines. You must taste the Alentejo, Douro and Dão region wines.
Have you heard about vinho verde (green wine)? It is a young and naturally fresh wine with a lower percentage of alcohol (between 9 and 11%). The white version is light, slightly sparkling, fruity and a bit acid, very much appreciated in warm days along with a seafood or a fish dish. Despite the name of this wine there is also a red version. Taste Alvarinho!
O vinho do Porto (Port wine), produced in the north of the country in the Douro river valley is the most well known Portuguese wine. It is a liquor wine which can be drunk fresh as an appetizer or room temperature as a desert wine. But don’t be tricked by its sweetness because it has 20% of alcohol.
Another liqueur wine is produced in the south of Lisbon, in the peninsula of Setúbal. It is called Moscatel wine, it is strong and sweet as Port wine but it as a very unique taste.
Don’t miss ginjinha either! It is a liquor made with cherries and it has a touch of cinnamon.
Come and watch for your self, feel the perfume of our food a taste it, all of this in the company of good wine and friends!