Restaurante Olivier and Portugal conclusion

As our Portugal trek sadly came to a close, we decided to have one last blow out dinner.  We took the train from Lagos back to Lisbon (3 or so hours) and had one night left to celebrate the time we had spent in the beautiful country.  We chose Restaurante Olivier, and this place was arguably the best restaurant we went to on the entire trip (which is saying a lot considering No Patio and San Bento were also great).

Located just up that main road along the water, and south of the Bairro Alto, Olivier is a classy, French bistro meets Victorian lounge.  As we were seated in our large, cushy white booth we could hear an odd, yet amusing array of classic rock songs in the form of lounge music (you haven’t heard Nirvana until you hear it in the sound of a clarinet).  The service was excellent, with the owner of the establishment coming by our table to introduce herself.

Although expensive, you have to try the appetizer platter.  Only one of us ordered it and we all shared the plates, but it was some of the most amazing food.  The appetizer plate comes with THE BEST Foie Gras that I’ve ever tasted (and I don’t even like pate).  The duck liver melted in your mouth and was strong, but not overwhelming never leaving any nasty after taste like some others do.  The crab dip with guacamole was also a fantastic addition, making us all wonder how none of us had thought about trying to make it before.  The beef tartar w/ arugula was the right combination of meaty and light, while the sweet apple-cinnamon, walnut, goat cheese, filo dough pastry was an odd combination but worked and was my buddy’s favorite.  The fifth part of the appetizer was a salmon nigiri sushi which was just good – compared to the other four plates that is.

For the main course I had the tenderloin with Olivier sauce, which our waitress said was to die for.  The meat itself was excellent – not as good as San Bento’s steak – but most definitely up there in quality.  What made the dish really amazing however was the Olivier sauce that they drizzled onto it.  I have no idea what was in it and the waitress wouldn’t give up the recipe ingredients, but if you go there I would highly recommend it.    My one friend also got the tenderloin, but our third buddy ordered the scallops which, honest to god, melted in your mouth.

We opted out of the desert, but if you do want to do desert it’d be best to go with the three course meal option.  It’s a better deal as the place will cost you a pretty penny.  Grade: A-

Our week and a half long trip to Portugal was amazing.  Great food, friendly people, and we got to see a lot in that time.  Beaches, bars, museums, castles, port wine cellars – it was a busy trek.  I most likely won’t go back any time soon because as wonderful as Portugal is, it’s a one and done type of place to me – kinda like the Grand Canyon.  Once you’ve seen it and experienced the great things Portugal has to offer, you can check it off your list.  But I would highly recommend checking Portugal out and a week and a half is a pretty good amount of time to see the country, though two weeks is probably the best.


Where I ate:

Restaurante Olivier
Rua do Alecrim, 23
1200-014 Lisboa

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