This was the first of the new old-style Portuguese “Tabernas” that brought to life some forgotten (or neglected) traditional recipes. The idea is now widespread, but this is still a favourite.
The concept seems pretty simple and somewhat obvious, but the truth is that nobody else at the time was doing the things that have made this place famous. They have certainly made a difference in the Lisbon restaurant scene.
You will feel right at home here. It has an informal, relaxed and seemingly unruly look and the service is good. But never mind showing up without booking ahead. They are punctual and they want you to be as well, so they might call you before just to check you are coming at the right time.
If you have never been here, the waiter will sit down (literally, they pull up a chair and sit down at the table) and guide you through what is written on the black board: “tibornas” (our own kind of bruschettas), “entradas” (starters or type of tapas) and the mains. They will then suggest a few options for the group to share (that is always the assumption, so you try everything). The options vary daily, but if you have the chance try the goat cheese, honey and rosemary tiborna, the farinheira with apple squash and the açorda de camarão.
The old objects and the furniture complete the picture and you are left wondering if they have really been at your grandmother’s house.