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Nice average Portuguese restaurant: Restaurant Optimista (22. June 2019)

| July 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

I found the Optimista on TripAdvisor as one of the better restaurants in Lisbon, so I decided to give it a try. The take a cover charge of EUR 3.50 for some bread, olives, olive oil and spread. While I would usually say that this is a bit of a rip-off, I think it’s okay considering we were four people and that the bread was actually absolutely delicious.

The menu is rather small, so your selection is limited. However, I found a couple of things which I thought would be interesting starting with “cured duck, tomato curd and corn bread toast” (EUR 8.00). Now, while I do like the fact that it is presented a bit out of the ordinary, I was also a bit disappointed by the size of the dishes – but turns out it is actually enough. The slices of cured duck were good and intense in flavor.

The “oxtail croquettes and kimchi cabbage mayonnaise” (EUR 6.00) did not only look lovely but were good – especially when you would dip the croquettes in the kimchi cabbage mayonnaise.

I was a bit misled when I had ordered the “pica-pau (fried veal pieces) with cockles and bulhão pato sauce” (EUR 10.00) as I had somehow not read the “cockles” part and was heavily focused on the veal part. Turns out the veal was actually delicious in terms of aromas but it was also a bit too chewy for my gusto. Secondly, the mussels were almost not done – something which I consider borderline but after more than 24 hours all is still good with my stomach, so I guess they were fresh enough.

As a main, I went for the “fish of the day with pumpkin purée, cuttlefish ink, bimis and coriander pickle” (EUR 18.00) which was – honestly – plain. It was lacking any kind of flavor and while I liked the broccolini and the other flavors which were beneath the fish, the fish itself was just – boring.

Somehow I still felt like dessert, so I went for the “vanilla and mint ice cream” (EUR 3.00) and somehow I was expecting as scoop of vanilla ice cream and a scoop of mint ice cream. Turns out, it was “vanilla and mint ice cream” mixed together which was surprisingly delicious – not expected, but definitely worth trying.

While the place itself isn’t that atmospheric as it is a rather small premise with a tunnel-like layout, they managed to keep it interesting by providing an open kitchen at the end of the room and a unicorn above.

The service quality highly depends on the waiter – while one guy was definitely competent, attentive, and swift. The other guy was kind of living in another world. We had to order another bottle of water quite some times – and it turns out that this seems to be too much in terms of to dos. In any case, all in all, the Optimista is okay to dine at but doesn’t deserve the ranking it has, in my humble opinion.


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Contact Details:

Restaurant Optimista

Rua da Boavista 86

1200-068 Lisbon (PT)

Tel.: +351 213 460 629

E-Mail: info@optimista.pt

Homepage: http://www.optimista.pt

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
EUR 190.00 (incl. tip) Filed in: Lisbon (PT), Restaurants

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