I love discovering hidden gems that serve good food. Restaurants with heart. Soul food in a good atmosphere. That’s how it should be. And this weekend was a strike. Something like a 9 or 10 out of 10. I am talking about a restaurant called A Praça in Lisbon. Not in Bairro Alto where you might expect it. Hidden in LX Factory, an old factory area right under the bridge called Ponte 25 de Abril aka Lisbon’s Golden Gate bridge. The place opened a few months ago and walking in you will immediately be enchanted by the open kitchen space, the fresh vegetable counter and the black and white interior. Industrial charm:YES. Good dinner atmosphere: YES. Great taste:YES. Affordable food:YES. Humongous gin & tonic drinks:YES. Must go to-place: YES.
Now a few words on the food: The menu is simple with a good selection of starters and a straight forward list of main courses. The menu is rounded up with some nice desserts. You will easily make your choice. In my eyes, there is seldom worse than a long, confusing menu that does not only annoy you but the waiter as well who needs 1o minutes to take your order.
Go for a handful of starters to share, they will make you want more food :) They are made of fresh ingredients, discreetly and tastefully seasoned with a Mediterranean touch and a Portuguese note. Look at the Albeira sausage for example: It’s a typical Portuguese sausage (you find interesting articles on Wikipedia about its Jewish origin). The almond coating gave it a new interpretation.
The main courses were mainly pasta dishes. Ricotta is a great alternative to Bechamel sauce and the caramelized walnuts went extremely well with the sweet tomato sauce. The pesto ravioli were something for the taste buds as well.
I also remember trying a piece of my boyfriend’s delicious almond cake but to be honest I was more focused on my espresso for digestive reasons after this gorgeous dinner!
I dearly hope A Praça will become a Lisbon institution. That would be well-deserved with Antonio and the rest of the crew having taken excellent care of us that night!
And P.S. Don’t forget to book a table! The place was packed within 10 minutes!
Obrigada e adeus.