The best restaurant in Lisbon is only an Uber’s ride away from the centre in the area of Marquês de Pombal. So get off-the-beaten-track and into the home of a Portuguese local through Eat With.
What is Eat With?
If you’ve been running away with me for a while you’ll know this is my fourth Eat With experience, so I’ve summed it up pretty nicely from Florence and Romania. I’ve since had another great experience in Slovenia (coming soon).
But for those who haven’t, allow me to blow your mind.
For the price of a meal in a restaurant – less in some instances – you get to enjoy a home-cooked meal from a local in their own home. It’s a personal, intimate experience, and you’ll leave knowing a friendly face in the city with much more insight into the people and local culture.
Click here to find an experience on your next trip. (This isn’t an ad or an affiliate link, I just think it’s a fab experience)
Now let me introduce you to Zé, the tenant of a small-but-elegant apartment in the centre of Lisbon, shared with his Brazilian-artist girlfriend Priscilla.
Born and raised in Lisboa, living between Lisboa and São Paulo, Zé enjoyed a typical Portuguese upbringing - complete with port and a cabbage-shaped bowl- and now loves to 'share his table and meals with friends, friends of the friends and yet to come friends'.
Zé is at once engaging, with a clear passion and a curiosity for the people he meets.
He was the perfect host and given that we stayed almost five hours was a testament to how good the evening was.
I bet you’ve tried Portuguese wine and you didn’t even know it. You know that Rose wine in Tesco we all buy that’s cheap but still looks kinds of expensive? Yep, Mateus Rose is actually a Portuguese wine.
And I’m sorry to say, but Mateus is among the small percentage of wines the Portuguese actually DO export – leaving the rest for themselves. During the course of the evening, we popped five bottles of sparkling, red, white, champagne and green wine.
- 2016 Moscatel de Setúbal Horácio Simões 2016 (Sparkling)
- 2018 Muros Antigos Loureiro branco 2018 (Green)
- Caves Velhas Bucellas Arinto 2018 (White)
- Cabriz Colheita Seleccionada Dão DOC (Red)
- Marquês de Marialva Blanc de Blancs Bruto (Champagne)
Green wine I hear you say? Yes Green. Named not for its colour but by the luscious region in which it’s conceived - Vinho Verde.
I’ll also let you into a little secret… the Muros Antigos Loureiro Branco was voted the best in the world. If you’re not heading to Portugal anytime soon and fancy a taste, Majestic Wines sells a £7.99 a bottle of Green wine but not the same one as above unfortunately
Moscatel de Setúbal Horácio Simões 2016 (Sparkling)
2018 Muros Antigos Loureiro branco 2018 (Green)
Caves Velhas Bucellas Arinto 2018 (White)
Cabriz Colheita Seleccionada Dão DOC (Red)
Marquês de Marialva Blanc de Blancs Bruto (Champagne)
So we weren’t just poppin’ bottles all night, the wine was carefully selected by Zé to pair with his culinary delights.
Zé knows his way around the local markets where he shops to prepare only the freshest dishes.
As Portugal is the third-largest consumer of fish in the world, third only to Japan and Iceland, it was only right that it appears on the menu.
- Meat and Cheese Platter with Homemade Pate
- Scrambled Egg with Special Sausage
- Octopus Salad
- White Wine and Garlic Clams (my absolute favourite dish from my entire time in Lisbon)
- Cod Fish
- Zé’s Crème Brulee
Special Sausage is not a synonym for something else - they aren’t cannibals - but rather the Portuguese Farinheira.
Meat and Cheese Platter with Homemade Pate
Scrambled Egg with Special Sausage
White Wine and Garlic Clams
Zé’s Crème Brulee
Booked and paid through the Eat With platform, the experience only cost us £97.22 for two of us for a never-ending wine glass (5 bottles to be exact) and 6 courses. The dinner we enjoyed at the Fado house the next day? £110 for a shared starter, 2 mains and 2 (small) bottles of wine.
This was my fourth Eat With experience and the best one yet! The food Zé prepared was so delicious that we asked for several recipes to take home, and so traditional that we recognised a number of the items Zé prepared on a menu the next day – Zé’s cooking was far nicer! I highly recommend this experience if you want to leave with a new friend in Lisbon.