A particularly delightful hidden gem with surprising inspiration in the kitchen
R. do Olival 258, 1200-744 Lisboa | 213 902 457 | website
Mon – Sat, 18h – 23h
Just up the hill from the Museu da Arte Antiga, half buried under a wall of lush ivy, sits a haven for lovers of Italian cuisine. This split-level romantic restaurant is warmed by the wood-burning pizza oven at the entrance and the sepia-tone ambiance cast by the candles scattered throughout the space. The menu boasts Italian standards including homemade pastas and wood-fired pizzas, all made from incredibly fresh and top-quality ingredients.
Starting with the basics, we tried the bruschetta pomodoro with fresh basil and floated away into a tomato lover’s dream. The simplicity and elegance of the appetizer properly prepared us for one of the more memorable meals we have had recently, especially when paired with the mouth-watering olive oil on the side. We sipped our Aperol Spritz and Negroni, respectively, (as one does) while pouring over the menu, finally choosing the tris de casa (house trio) comprised of goat cheese ricotta and spinach, brined shrimp and mushroom tagliatelle, and ragu rigatoni with Alentejano pork presunto. We followed this savory trio with the melt-in-your-mouth slow-cooked ossobuco served with porcini mushrooms and black truffles paired with a bottle of Santa Cristina Toscana red. We were constantly surprised at how one course was as tasty, if not tastier, than the one before.
Perhaps more surprising than the quality of the menu is knowing that the chef is not from Italy at all. The restaurant is owned by its Nepalese head chef, Chef Tanka Sapkota, who owns four restaurants in Lisbon, including two more Italian-style restaurants, il Mercato and Forno D’Oro, and the equally delicious and beautiful Casa Nepalesa near the Gulbenkian Foundation.
Very highly recommended for a truly memorable evening out.