Lisbon sets the mood for Christmas
Christmas has officially arrived in Lisbon and parque Eduardo VII, next to Marquês de Pombal roundabout, is hosting Christmas Village. Set in an open air area of 20 thousand square meters, the Village is inhabited by this season usual characters: reindeers, roman soldiers, Santa Claus and even a live nativity scene. Tickets to visit Christmas Village are priced between eight and twelve euros.
Armazém 22 is a familiar and cosy restaurant, located right in Cascais center (behind the City Hall, to be precise). With a careful décor and a laid-back and informal ambience, it’s divided into two rooms, each with a thirty people capacity. Opened since 2005, it presents itself as a place where authenticity and originality are especially taken into account. In spite of the owner’s nationality (the founding couple was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil), this restaurant’s cuisine is mainly international, since it mixes flavours coming from all over the world. Armazém 22 only serves dinners and closes on Mondays and Sundays.
Armazém 22’s main specialty is meat, which gets to the table garnished with farofa (made with corn flour), fries and salad. There’s also two sauces destined to season the meat: a vinaigrette sauce and chimichurri (Argentinian sauce made with olive oil and herbs). If you prefer, you can always go for a fish dish: fresh codfish with parsley dressing or the boneless rainbow trout with banana and almonds are good choices. On the first Sunday of every month, Armazém 22 exceptionally opens its doors at lunch to serve it’s own feijoada à brasileira (a black bean and meat stew). As it happens to be an much sought-after dish, booking in advance is strongly advised. For dessert, the main suggestion is another traditionally Brazilian delicacy: shaken papaya with vanilla ice-cream and cassis liquor.
Tasca Rasca is in Paço de Arcos (close to Oeiras) and combines Portuguese dishes with a bunch of international specialties. Everything here is done and served with an inherent good mood. So alongside the grilled meat assortments, the bacalhau à Brás (codfish with eggs and fries) or the feijoada à transmontana (a typical bean stew), you can find chicken or shrimp curry. Another of Tasca Rasca’s fields of expertise are the steaks, covered in delicious dressings. If you prefer something lighter, try the caeser salad or a juicy francesinha (a meat sandwich). For dessert, the highlight goes to the wild berries cheesecake – but you won’t go wrong with the velvety passion-fruit mousse.
Tasca Rasca opened in the summer of 2013 and it’s modestly sized. The décor, however, is carefully done, combining light woods and purple tones. The location, not obvious at all, protects the restaurant from crowds, helping to keep this as the perfect nook for people looking for intimacy and privacy to chit-chat with ease. Besides the established menu, Tasca Rasca also has an economical lunch menu that includes starters, dish of the day, a drink and coffee. During the day, the clientele mostly comes from local companies, whereas at night diners are mostly couples and groups of friends. Take the chance to finish your meal with a cocktail, mixed, prepared and served by the local barman.
The name promises it all and the place delivers: Taberna da Saudade is a typical portuguese tavern. Located in Pampulha, next to rua das Janelas Verdes, it aims to bring traditional taverns back to this neighbourhood, especially the ones where you can drink and nibble for few money. It’s decorated with a high counter and shelves with wine bottles, mosaic floor, wood tables with marble top, a wine barrel, musical instruments and a shawl (as an homage to fado). The menu consists mainly of traditional portuguese snacks. Taberna da Saudade closes on Sundays and from Thursday to Saturday it only closes at 1 a.m.
Taberna Saudade conceived and developed its own product line, which includes everything from drinks to canned food. Thus, you can try the ginginha Saudade (cherry liquor) or the Paixão e Saudade liqueurs, as well as the homebrewed Sovina beer or a traditional glass of wine. As for snacks, with an average price of five euros, the list is quite long: roasted black pudding, octopus fillets, codfish strips with bread, flavoured prego in bolo do caco (a steak in typical Madeira bread) and the tavern’s own récipe of gizzards. Besides the preset menu, Taberna da Saudade always prepares a daily lunch menu with dishes like squid stew, iscas (a liver based dish), cow hoof with chick pea or peixinhos da horta (vegetarian deep fried buns). For dessert, another array of portuguese specialties: custard, sweet rice and pudding.
Mercado de Campo de Ourique
Originally opened in 1934, Campo de Ourique market reopened in 2013 after a brief improvement. It now looks modernized and sports a more cosmopolitan look, but it still keeps a traditional fashion to it: fresh fish and vegetables are still sold everyday. But besides these stalls, mercado de Campo de Ourique now houses several stores and even a food court, where a bunch of taverns also gathered (offering from pizza to sushi). The market is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., but the food stalls open around 10 a.m., while traditional sellers dismantle their stalls by mid-afternoon.
The latest remodeling in Campo de Ourique market got its inspiration from San Miguel market, in Madrid, but kept the space’s original configuration and organization: the food court and whatnots are installed in the center of the market, while the traditional stalls were kept around it. Still, the details were handled carefully, and that’s noticeable either on the modern materials and the warm colours (red and yellow dominate). As for the taverns, get to know that you will find dozen and a half of them: shellfish stalls, pizzerias, burger joints and liquor stores are some of the examples that make Campo de Ourique market a good place not only for groceries shopping, but also for lunch and dinner. Note that the whole market offers free wi-fi internet access.