Pasteis de Nata

I’ve never been a huge fan of egg tarts.  We’ve had the Portuguese pastry in Hong Kong, San Francisco, and Macau, and I’ve always found them to be too much like sweet scrambled eggs.  I hoped Lisbon could change my mind about egg tarts, and it did – big time.  Manteigaria in Chiado has been cranking out pasteis de nata since…about a year ago.  They are doing it right – rich, custardy centers in a super flaky crust, all a tiny bit burnt on top.

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You can eat your pastel and have an espresso at a long marble counter, Italian style, while watching new batches of pasteis being made.

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There are other famous pastel de nata bakeries in Lisbon, most notably in Belém, but Manteigaria is the one that stole our hearts.  We’ll be back.

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Mini Bar Teatro

We made a reservation at Mini Bar Teatro after having an excellent lunch at one of its sister restaurants.  Mini Bar offers a la carte small plates, but we opted to put ourselves in the chef’s hands with the “epic menu,” which includes 12 mini courses that are all a surprise.  It’s so fun to eat this way but usually really expensive.  Fortunately for us, Portugal is really affordable.

The dishes were all delicious, and it was clear the staff had a lot of fun presenting them with some flair and mystery.  It was really dark in the restaurant so the following photos are not the best.  Here’s the full menu:

1st course: Margarita apples.  These apples were themselves a cocktail, having been soaked in (or injected with?) tequila and lime.

1st course: Margarita apples. These apples were themselves a cocktail, having been soaked in (or injected with?) tequila and lime.

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