Yes dear readers, it’s the time of the lists: wish lists, gift lists, shopping lists, best of nostalgia remember this video or article clickbait list, etc. So, we here at Lisbom decided to spoil you with our own list as well. May it fill your hearts and stomachs and make you feel as merry as we did when we were eating or drinking all of this throughout this year. Without further ado, here’s 15 things we, food or drink-wise really liked in 2015. In no particular order, mind you. Food is not a competition. Unless you want to invite us as members of the jury. Then it’s alright.
- The prettiest plate-food-tablecloth combination is to be found in Mercearia do Século. A most impressive balance between style and substance. Or when was the last time you had a gazpacho as pretty as this one?
- The neighbourhood we spent the most and the best time in was Praça das Flores. The square really has come alive this year, in no small amounts thanks to the wonderful Carinho do Vinho and Copenhagen Coffee Lab and the many delicious restaurants there. It’s the belle of the ball, the place to be for people who enjoy life.
- Portuguese craft beer is getting ever more popular but the best one to be had on tap is in the extremely cosy, medieval Trobadores bar: 8a Colina. Like an IPA, hoppy and flowery in the mouth but with a challenging, bitter aftertaste and brilliant in combination with the homemade black olive tapenade.
- The best, most unforgettable cardamom flavoured chocolate praline is to be had in the chocolate studio Denegro! in the Rua de São Bento.
- We would happily spend another weekend in Tomar, not only because it’s a lovely riverside town with cobblestone streets and good food but most importantly, to stack up on the wine. Specifically the fruity, dry, herby Herdade dos Templários from 2012.
- Most interesting usage of tofu in a restaurant: In bocca al lupo. Both the spicy tofu chocolate mousse and the soft tofu pizza were amazing.
- The best vegetarian dish without tofu this year was the lovely, sweet-sour shepherd’s pie with sweet potatoes at Le Moustache Smokery.
- And whilst on the subject, the most original adaptation of a non-vegetarian dish was the mango ceviche starter with chili, red onion and small pieces of seaweed in PSI. Beautiful.
- The award for best restaurant concept goes to Aquele lugar em Alcântara, or do you know a restaurant that has no fixed chef and no fixed menu and still manages to pull off such a great culinary experience?
- The memorable, charcoaly choriço bread from Sobreiro with chouriço so good, your fingers were red with paprika afterwards, fitted in perfectly with the replica Alentejo village of José Franco which is all about making their visitors feel like little kids again.
- The burger in Gayola is a miracle: soft, delicious, tender, amazing meat. And you get a whole bunch of exotic sauces to choose from! That is all there is to be said.
- Saddest closure: the Crêperia da Ribeira. We’ll miss you. Your crêpes were wonderful, whether as dinner, brunch or just to kill a munchie. Can’t say we managed to find a crêpe in France to top yours.
- The same goes for the crispy magret de canard accompanied by a deep, dark port-wine sauce in Trivial, another gem near Praça das Flores. Even in the South of France, it never got better than this one.
- We loved the flower arrangements of the toilet of Café Buenos Aires na Fábrica. The Belle Epoque interior design with so many paintings, beautiful ceilings, mirrors and classy wooden colours had us enchanted. Mind you, the interior is not as enchanting as the food though.
- Oh and Le Moustache Smokery also gets this year’s award for best usage of kitchen equipment in the décor. Lampshades are like so last century.
Finally, a small pat on the back to ourselves for this hilarious, ultimate pizza showdown report!
2015 is dead. Long live 2016!
(Nout Van Den Neste)