I was in Lisbon for vacation with my girlfriend about two weeks ago, and this was our last stop for dinner. Boy did this place blow me away! If I had an extra day, I would've come back, but I will return!
Pedro was a splendid host and him and his wife Carla seem to run the place in such a way that it makes you feel at home. He really treated us as his guests and entertained us the whole night.
We tried to come here twice for lunch, but it was closed both times. It can be tricky at times, but trust me: try and try again until you find it open, because it's worth the wait!
The restaurant isn't very typical as far as seating goes: there are long wooden benches/bar-stands inside and a few tables outside on the street; if it's not too cold, outside is perfectly fine and inviting.
The food menu is quite restricted, but that's because they serve typical plates, made contemporary, and all of excellent quality. The wine list on the other hand is stunning and Pedro makes it all the better.
The concept of the restaurant is to make you live the experience of the Douro wines and taste as much as you can. In fact, not only is there a very wide range, but the glasses are all quite affordable and leave you space to try different kinds.
Moreover, you can ask your server what kind of wine you prefer, and they will let you taste the wine they select for you. If it's not of your taste, you get to try another one, until you are satisfied. I think this was truly fantastic.
I had a chance to try a green wine, a white wine and a Porto wine, all truly amazing.
Also, Pedro explained and introduced every wine in a splendid way: he knows everything about these gems he serves. Trust me: everything.
As far as food goes, we had two appetizers: I had the sardines on cornbread marinated in tomato sauce, very good, and we also split a platter of cold cuts and cheese, which were all truly amazing and paired really well with our wines.
As entrées, I had calamari in what they call a ragôut sauce, which were stunning and are one of their specialties, while my girlfriend had a puff pastry with steak, also very good. We also had spinach and roasted potatoes as sides.
About the potatoes: they were cooked in the oven with an olive oil which was AMAZING. I had to ask Pedro to bring me a plate to taste on itself, because it was so rich and creamy. Divine. I asked him if he would sell me a bottle, but he said it's from his parents' farm up in the Douro region and they only use it for food. But he did invite me to visit him once, if I ever decide to go to Porto, and I intend to pick up on the invitation. Being Italian it's hard to say: but it's the best olive oil I've ever tasted.
Unfortunately, as he was quite full for lunch, I didn't have a chance to taste the Francesinha, which I will come back for because it sounded delicious, or the dessert, as they had all been finished during lunch service :-(
Nervertheless, the experience was amazing as the hospitality and will definitely come back here if I make my way back to Lisbon, or suggest it as a destination for friends.
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