When we were in Comporta this summer, we met an English couple that was looking to start up a biodynamic wine bar, and were deciding whether to start it in Lisbon or somewhere else in Portugal. He had been working in the restaurant industry in London, so right away, we perked up when they mentioned a restaurant they had loved in Lisbon, insisting we try it when we go through there.
So off to Prado we went! Right away, we got it, as we saw their list of (delicious) biodynamic wines, with a waitress that was very enthusiastic about describing them, and kindly remembered the wines we had drank when I emailed her about them the next day.
When we arrived to the restaurant, we were shunned by the hostess… she was very busy and annoyed that we had showed up early, and did her best to show us that we’d put her out. When we finally sat down, she came to tell our waitress that she couldn’t take our order yet…okay…
So we were given some bread with dips… the one on the left was fresh goat’s butter with smoked salt and sea lettuce. I’ve recently had several different seaweed butters and loved them (it seems to be the new thing), and this one was no exception! Next to it was some whipped Iberico pork fat, wiht some garlic and bay leaves mixed in… also quite good.
We staerted with the ox heart tomatoes, which we saw on the next table, that were served with watermelon and river mint. These were quite good and meaty… and the tomato juices mixed nicely with the fresh slices of watermelon, giving a tangy but sweet note to the dish.
Then, the steak tartare, which we had been told was good but not great, that there were other dishes that were better… but I was glad we ordered it! Served with shitake mushroom and some grilled cabbage, this dish had tons of taste and texture… imagine the soft, chopped beef with the crispy cabbage (ok, I thought it was kale when it arrived), nicely topped with some flakes of sea salt… and then, think of the soft, but vivid taste of raw beef, mixed with the umami of mushroom together… it was such a nice combination!
Another winner… and this one doesn’t look like much, this hispi cabbage was a knockout, served with whey (the creamy sauce), pumpkin seeds, and an gelled, herby topping… the mix of the soggy cabbage (doesn’t sound good but boy, was it), the crunchy seeds, and the milky whey… along with these green bits of herby oil… it was inventive and comforting!
And then, another of my favourites… the Alentejo pork pluma, topped iwht lettuce and coriander. Over the course of our summer trip to Portugal, we had many a piece of Iberian pork pluma, that magical cut that is served medium rare with a bit of sea salt on top, and that is perfection. This piece of presa was no different, perfectly cooked, rare and juicy and tasteful. The toppings were nice, but unnecessary.
And finally, dessert. A toasted rice flan with pumpkin and hazelnut… this was essentilaly a creamy pumpkin puree topped with toasted rice kernels and crispy hazelnut… it was a good mix of sweet blended puree and crunch… nothing incredible, but it was also nice to have something on the lighter side after all of our food!
Overall, we had a very good meal here. The food was inventive, and some of the dishes were out of this world, but others were just okay, and felt like they were trying too hard. Over the course of the night, we probably tried 5 different bio wines, and liked each of them (and were surpised by their varierty!) It was a fun experience in dining, but given the number of new, exciting restaurants in Lisbon these days, this won’t be the first that I rush back to.