Eating out: traditional Portuguese food and savoring the moment

July 2, 2013

in Lisbon,Portugal

Lisbon restaurants Chef  Andre’ Magalhaes at Taberna

Robert usually laughs at me when we go out for dinner. Because the moment we get served our food, I will typically snap a photo. It’s become a habit I enjoy because it allows me to remember a good meal and savor the food long after I’ve eaten it. While he may laugh, I know that deep down inside, he enjoys it too. I think.

Because in addition to remembering the meal, we’ve also gotten to enjoy some pretty cool experiences as a result of pulling out my camera and Moleskine reporter’s notebook. At the restaurant Taberna in Lisbon, the waitress asked if I was a food writer, struck up a conversation with me and offered me the opportunity to meet chef André Magalhaes. I took her up on the offer. Of course.

It turns out that André also teaches in the chemistry department at the local university and brings in a laboratory sense of experimenting to his cooking.  And he is doing a really great job of taking traditional Portuguese food and giving it a modern twist. Plus he is sourcing lots of local food, going down to the beach to pick out the fresh sardines and mackeral he will cook. Although Taberna has only been open a year, he says “I want it to feel like it’s been around a while.”

It did. From the handwritten menu on the chalkboard to the tin coffee cups and mismatched plates, the restaurant had an old feel. But the food was by no means stodgy and old, but rather fresh and interesting. Basic fish and chips were done perfectly with a batter made with beer, wheat and rice flour. Grilled vegies were cooked with lots of coriander and olive oil. The bolacha Maria dessert was apparently a traditional favorite and yummy.

Taberna The fish & chips. Lisbon restaurants The bolacha Maria dessert.



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