On our first evening in Portugal we were very tired after an early flight so went out to find something to eat early. We arrived at O Lusitano before 6:30pm to find that it didn’t open until 7pm. A waitress overheard us deciding whether to wait, go and come back or look elsewhere and very kindly offered to open early for us, despite the fact that she was eating herself! A great start.
Service was friendly and prompt all evening and the food was mostly good too.
Starting with the traditional Portuguese ‘couvert’ (small items brought to your table without you ordering them. They are not free though, they’re brought ‘for your convenience’) of bread, olives & garlicky carrots. We would eat these many times over the next week but O Lusitano’s were probably the best, certainly the carrots which were delicious.
After stuffing my face with bread & olives I ordered Mussels and Melon with Parma Ham to start. The mussels were cooked and served very simply, which is not a criticism, such high quality ingredients deserve to be allowed to shine. The other dish was similar, just top quality fresh melon with excellent parma ham.
We also ordered 2 bowls of soup, Onion and Tomato. The onion was delicious, rich and deep flavours with huge croutons topped with melted cheese. The tomato wasn’t quite as good and tasted quite similar to a cup-a-soup.
I picked the Swordfish for my main course. It was again cooked and presented so simply. Just a piece of perfectly cooked fish (excellent charring on the outside, perfectly soft and moist on the inside) surrounded by well cooked and seasoned potatoes, carrots & broccoli. Oddly also grated, raw red cabbage which seemed a little out of place but tasted good all the same.
My partner ordered Tuna steak ‘Algarve style’. The roasted pepper & tomato sauce that it was covered in was incredibly tasty but unfortunately the tuna was overcooked and quite dry.
We weren’t particularly inspired by the dessert menu so went with a good old Lemon Meringue pie and Cheesecake. Both were perfectly fine if unremarkable.
Besides a couple of minor issues with the food we had a great time at O Lusitano. Service was excellent as were the house wines and excellent value too. They have a very good cocktail menu too, I highly recommend the Passion Fruit Caipirinha!
Date of visit: 16.08.2012