It was just one of those days. Nothing had gone as planned and all is seemed to be doing was Ubering from one end of Lisbon to the other and back in some erratic manner trying to keep up all the appointments I had made. The only thing that was positive to the day was I finally picked up a teeny weenie bit of Portuguese with ‘Tudo bem’ ‘everything ok”.
I was in Lapa which is lovely area in Lisbon It very residential with some stunning properties and its where some of the embassies are. Often referred to as Noble Lapa it has a lot of elegant charm. Its also where one of my favourite Fado club is Sr Vinho which is a must to go to as it always has great performerswe were in a lovely bar called that we had stumbled upon called Santissim near a hotel we sometimes stay in As Janelas Verdes pondering where to go for dinner.
My cousin Fifi from Hawaii was with us and friend from Lisbon who absolutely insisted that we try XL nearby. Reservations are essential for this dinner only place.
Nearby it might have been but in Lapa with the uphill streets it was anything but nearby. Every time I insisted ‘lets get and Uber’ I was met with ‘its just round the corner’.
We finally arrived having I believe walked the longest possible way there!. The restaurant is near the Parliament in Estrela. Apparently a lot of celebrities from sport stars to politicians turn up. We didn’t see any that night but we immediately felt at home when we arrived.
It’s a cosy place that has a good feel about it. Rather eclectic in style and sort of l shaped so it feels intimate. I fell in love with the place before we even ate., the atmosphere , the friendly waiters. It just had a nice vibe. The warm bread arrived promptly with garlic drenched in olive oil. They are famous for steak and deeply fried potatoes skins. We didn’t have that. We opted to share as a starter scallops with a vegetable puree and it was good.
I then had the steak in wild mushroom sauce and it was superlative. Rare as it should be unlike at JNcQuoi the previous night. Fifi also had a steak done Portuguese style and it was seriously yummy. Richard had some kind of fish that was good and we followed this with a selection of deserts that are all made on site Yes that may sound as odd but quite a few restaurants don’t actually make their sweets.
I don’t have anything but good to say about XL. It was a great atmosphere really friendly warm service and superb food. And it didn’t stop there. They have a valet service and they helped us find a cab and tell the driver our hotel. When he clearly had difficulty knowing where it was the valet whipped out his phone got the location and showed it to the driver. That is service.
This place is not stuffy or pretentious and its really worth a visit and I know it will become a regular haunt when I am in Lisbon.