With a new lockdown in Portugal, it feels as if we’ve entered another dark period of the pandemic. Once again, food and drink have become a central concern and source of comfort: Planning meals, cooking, shopping or just thinking about food seem to occupy our brain in an almost obsessive way.
For Lisbon’s restaurants and cafés, the focus is on creating food for a different type of consumption. Since only takeaway and delivery are currently allowed, many are developing special dishes or menus that are better suited to travel. Here are a few of our favorites, although it was hard to choose from the many delicious options.
Miguel Peres Azevedo, the chef behind Pigmeu, started thinking about a new brand solely for takeaway and delivery back in November, when the Portuguese government declared that restaurants had to close at 1 p.m. on weekends and holidays. It was a huge blow, as weekends tend to be the most profitable days, especially during December, when there are two big holidays in the lead up to Christmas that often see people eating out.
So Miguel created Reco-Reco (reco is a word for pig, but in this case he says it’s also a reference to recolhimento, or lockdown), a separate entity that focuses only on to-go food and has a different menu than Pigmeu. “We changed everything,” Miguel tells us. “We created a new platform for to-go orders with new sandwiches and specialties.” The newest is a vegetarian cheeseburger with a patty made of acorn and chickpeas from Herdade do Freixo do Meio, an organic farm in Alentejo that’s known for its great produce. The sandwich, called cheese vurguer, was unveiled last Thursday, a day when Miguel invites another chef to cook with him for what he calls Take Away Thursdays, but will be available daily.
On Wednesdays, you can order the sandes de pernil, pork knuckle smoked in house and served with radish pickles in a house-made bolo do caco (a type of soft bread from Madeira). The rest of the week offers an inviting parade of sandwiches, including the katsu sando, a sandwich made with Alentejo pork, and the delicious bifana porcalhona (although the sauce comes in a separate package). To wash down these decadent sandwiches, you can also order natural wines at wine-shop prices. Orders can be made from noon to 3 p.m. and from 7 to 10 p.m. on Reco-Reco’s website.
Since only takeaway and delivery are currently allowed, many [restaurants] are developing special dishes or menus that are better suited to travel.
To cope during this period, Marta Figueiredo combined the forces of her restaurant Estrela da Bica and her bakery TerraPão to create a special menu for takeaway and delivery. Like Miguel, she started testing dishes during last year’s weekend lockdowns and getting feedback from her clients. They eventually landed on baked specialties, perfect for a special weekend meal.
One of the most popular has been the sea bass baked in sourdough. The impressive fish, which ranges in size from 800 grams to 1 kilo, is enveloped in wheat sourdough and paired with a side of smoked beetroot salad and almond praline. The portion is big enough for two or three people and costs €39 if it is picked up at TerraPão, or €2 more if delivered in Lisbon. Marta is adding more dishes to the menu, like baked kid with turnip greens purée, baked rice with offal, and bacalhau (salt cod) baked in pumpkin bread – all of which are similarly priced and enough for more than one person.
These dishes are in addition to delivery options from the restaurant and the bakery, including bread, coffee and even pickles. You can order from their listing, named Estrela da Bica na TerraPão, on the Kitch platform.
New dishes and ideas are heating up the kitchen of O Velho Eurico, a popular modern tasca in Mouraria. Chefs Zé Paulo Rocha and Ana Leão are busy with dishes such as rissóis de pernil (deep-fried turnovers filled with pork knuckle) and broas fritas, a specialty Zé learned from his mother, who hails from Minho: fritters made of corn and rye flour with pork belly and sausages such as chouriço. O Velho Eurico only accepts orders until Sunday night for takeaway and delivery for the following Monday to Friday. “This way we avoid waste or sold-out dishes. Also we try to keep a small team to minimize the risks,” say Zé. The weekly menus are announced on Thursdays and orders for the week can be made on Instagram. Besides the new dishes, the tasca’s classics such as duck rice are also available. Decisions, decisions!
André Magalhães and his Taberna da Rua das Flores were takeaway pioneers during the first lockdown (from March to May 2020) and continued to supply many homes when things opened up, which encouraged them to keep the option of to-go food: “We observed the reactions, listened to the opinions and adapted some dishes for takeaway. Now we have a more refined version of Taberna em Casa [Taberna at Home] because we realized some of the dishes we created especially for takeaway in pots or vacuum sealed were not what people expected, they actually wanted the petiscos [small plates] they ate at Taberna,” he tells us.
In addition to changing up dishes, André and his team are also presenting some new plates and snacks to keep their regulars happy. Some petiscos from Quiosque São Paulo, the kiosk that Andre took over last year, including the popular squid sandwich, are now also available under the Taberna em Casa banner. Of the new options, the pork belly with artichoke purée and the special burger from Taberna seem to be the most popular: “It’s called Hamburger Taberneiro and mixes beef rib cooked at low temperature with pork belly and spices, and comes with a side of our homemade chips,” André explains.
Though they have the option of delivery, André encourages people to pick up their food in Chiado: “It’s more sustainable and we don’t have to pay the high commissions to platforms.” There’s another serious argument for ferrying your own food home from Chiado: A bottle of wine is on offer for all orders above a certain amount. Orders can be made on their website or by phone 213 479 418.
Cousins Carlos Afonso and Sérgio Frade are keeping the flame burning at O Frade, the restaurant that added a boost to the food scene in the Belém neighborhood. Of the nine comfort food mains available for takeaway and delivery, four are new: cozido de grão (a meat and vegetable stew with chickpeas from Alentejo), galinha cerejada (pan-fried chicken, traditionally from the Algarve), Corvina rice with mussels, and roasted lamb alongside their famous duck rice. Delightful amphora wines from a small family production in Alentejo are also available. You can round out your order with some petiscos and desserts (we recommend the delicious chocolate mousse). Order by phone 939 482 939.
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