We are starting to run out of “best of” places near us, to the point that soon we will not be able to walk and will have to take transit.
Last week we found ourselves walking back to our old neighbourhood, to Chiado, voted best Portuguese restaurant. Walking in, I felt so fancy, even moreso when they asked if we had a reservation.
We had looked at the menu online beforehand, but it had changed. The dish I had been wanting to order as my main was no longer available, it was only served as an appetizer. My back-up was the octopus, which Brent had also had his eye on. He was left debating between the salted cod and tiger shrimp. However the tiger shrimp had gone up quite drastically in price, the debate shifted to whether or not we should split the appetizer version of the tiger shrimp. In a moment of indulgence, Brent decided we should go for it.
The shrimp was amazing. Because we were splitting it, the kitchen staff were nice enough to split and plate it for us separately. The shrimp was giant, and every time Brent pointed that out I giggled. I have never been a big fan of shrimp, but I was blown away.
The octopus was just as amazing. However I did have a moment of “ACK!” when one of the suckers fell off the tentacle and I was reminded that I was eating a once-living octopus. The moment passed quickly however, as the meal was delicious.
We opted out of dessert, as I had a secret agenda to stop at Bang Bang Ice Cream on our way to 2Cats Cocktail Lounge (best lounge). It was an overcast day, with threats of rain. However this did not dissuade the public. The line at Bang Bang was huge, at least 30 people long. As we passed by, I stared longingly at the ice cream sandwiches being eaten. One lady had an ice cream sandwich made with pound cake!! Pound cake!!! These were no ordinary ice cream sandwiches and I was heartbroken.
We wanted to get to 2Cats right at open so as to avoid the busy rush, even still getting there less than an hour after open seemed fine. However when we got there we saw that it was not actually open yet. Turns out they need to update their website, as they now open at 9pm not 8pm. We back-tracked to Il Fornello so I could finally get my dessert fix. Drowning my ice-cream-less sorrows, I found myself sitting on a bench outside eating cookie after cookie. I stopped myself from eating the third one, opting to save it for later. We walked back, passing right at 9pm. Still no signs of life. We kept walking one more block, I ate the last cookie, and we turned around and headed back.
Now there was a bouncer outside. As we started for the door, he warned us that there was no one actually inside yet. This was perfect, my idea of a bar/lounge. Empty and therefore enjoyable. Apparently we were there for happy hour, drinks were half price. I ordered an old fashioned however the bar tender did not know how to make one. She asked me and I guessed that it was Scotch, triple sec and bitters. She did not have bitters, so she made just a Scotch and triple sec mix. Brent googled it, turns out it is rye or bourbon not Scotch, and a sugar cube doused in bitters and a dash of water. I was right about the cherry garnish though!
The place was nice with good music. We had a seat on some couches by the front and chatted. We liked it so much, and it was so cheap, we stayed for another round. By this time the place was starting to fill up. This time I opted for simplicity and ordered a long island iced tea, I had seen the mix behind the bar.