Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Recent discoveries around Lisbon ...
On Sunday we took some friends for lunch here. I'd been there before a couple of weeks ago with other friends for dinner, and we had loved it. As usual for me with restaurants, the second time is the real test to see if it becomes a favorite or not. It was even better, I think. We loved the house curry and the soft shell crabs, and were too full to order any dessert (besides, we had another idea for that as you can see below)
Mel das Arábias
Later we decided to go in search of this place. I've been a fan of baklavas ever since we had them in Turkey, and I'd been dying to have some ever since we came back. So when A. told me there was a pastry shop in Lisbon that sold them I knew we'd have to go there.
The verdict ? They're not comparable to the ones we had in Istanbul, but they're good enough for me to stop being so nostalgic about them. And with a cup of mint tea, they were actually almost perfect.
I don't usually post much about food or cooking around here, but this was such a success I had to show you. So simple, and yet utterly delicious. It's a strawberry and blueberry crisp, and the recipe is something adapted from here.
Don't know why we never made crisps before, but there you go, there's always a first time. We usually buy organic, and especially in the summer the fruit is so sweet there's hardly the need to add any sugar. I made this as an experiment for Saturday's lunch, and it was so good I made some more for friends we had over for dinner the same night.
It's as good hot from the oven or cold from the fridge, and I can't wait to try that version with apricots sometime soon.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Photos from last weekend ...
The hotel and gardens are beautiful, and it's one of those places that has kept its charm despite the years. Although the rooms could use a little renovation (at least the ones we stayed at) ...
We took a small hike in the afternoon, trying to escape the crowds that seemed to gather around the gardens during the day. There are several pedestrian itineraries through the park (more information here and here), and once you start climbing it gets quieter and more relaxing.
Dinner was outstanding (just don't order the duck) and the wine was probably one of the best we've ever had.
The next day there was still time to drive to Penacova, visit some of the old windmills (a bit disappointing) and have lunch in the panoramic restaurant (not bad).