Tasca da Esquina, Lisbon, 1/29/16

Exterior
Exterior

This is a medium sized place with the main dining room feeling like an enclosed porch and affording street views. It was fairly empty the day we went but we did arrive when they first opened. They played a funky mix of music on a short loop that it didn’t take long to hear any song again, which were from a variety of places – German, English, Portuguese, etc. They offer an a la carte menu but also have the option of “Chef’s choice” and you just pick how many courses you want. We chose the 7 course option. Overall it was pretty food, but not memorable. I loved the Chef’s Choice option for a menu and it did allow chef to serve the freshest options but it was diminished by cold service. For example after giving us menus they brought cheese, olives, bread and croquettes but didn’t mention whether this was a “you eat it you buy it” option, as all were listed for a price on the menu, or included in the tasting menu. When asked there was no response from the waiter. Again, when we asked what “game” was in the burger the response was “game”. Service isn’t everything but it sure can change your overall impression of a place.

kitchen
kitchen
kitchen area
kitchen area
dining room
dining room
table set up and window through to entry room/kitchen
table set up and window through to entry room/kitchen
Menu 1
Menu 1
menu 2
menu 2

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Olives, croquettes
Olives, croquettes
cheese, bread
cheese, bread
Frankie checked out the view
Frankie checked out the view
red wine
red wine
Eggplant soup - very mild could have used salt
Eggplant soup – very mild could have used salt
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Shrimp tempura with red pepper sauce. Exterior not crispy but very tasty and nicely cooked shrimp. Excellent sauce – it enhanced the otherwise dull croquettes
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Cockles with ginger and lemon. Nice, plump and garlicky. Ginger was mild until the end of the broth. Nice.
Frankie missed his friends at Eleven and went into hiding
Frankie missed her friends at Eleven and went into hiding
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Game meat burger with applesauce and spinach. More like a croquette but smokey with bits of meat. A nice crispy exterior and mixed with sauce and spinach it was nice but a bit gooey.
inside
inside
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Haddock with pumpkin and coconut. Pumpkin chunks slightly al dente. Sauce had no coconut shred. Very mild but pleasant dish.
Frankie checked out the table's flatware holder
Frankie checked out the table’s flatware holder
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Pork cheek with rice, spinach and beans. The meat was moist and tender. Good flavor to the dish – like something you’d make at home
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Sheep cheese and pumpkin jelly with spicy bread. The jam was GREAT! The cheese was mild but had a good consistency and when combined with jam and bread it was quite nice.
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Chocolate mousse with walnuts/ Creme brûlée / Floating cake in custard sauce with cocoa powder.
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Chocolate mousse with walnuts (quite firm with cherry on the bottom. Nuts had a hint of rancid).
Creme brûlée. Really nice even tho the custard was not quite set (best one).
Creme brûlée. Really nice even tho the custard was not quite set (best one).
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Floating cake – like ameraingue floating in custard sauce with cocoa powder. The custard should have been richer to compliment the mild egg whites.
looking out our window
looking out our window
Frankie thought the coat hook was her playground
Frankie thought the coat hook was her playground

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