Monday, July 5, 2010

Typical Lisbon

On Thursday we met up with Yve again, and after watching the sunset while drinking beers on the terrace of a 15th century palace with a bunch of permaculturalists, we headed, very late in the evening, to a restaurant that Yve said was “typical Lisbon". Good Lord, if this is "typical", then I want to live, die and be buried in Lisbon. At 9:30 on a Thursday, the place was buzzing and we found a spot on the end of a table right in the middle of the action. We started with some beer, but quickly switched to “vinho verde” so named because it is a “young” white wine. It was light, crisp and delicious.

It was the perfect complement to the shrimps and garlic that appeared, sizzling on our table. And then cold shrimp still in the peel, which are firm and sweet because they have been soaked in ice water, and we dipped them in mayonnaise mixed with hot sauce. Somewhere in there soft-shell crab also appeared. After that taste bud extravaganza, a plate of mussels in garlic broth appeared. Monica enjoyed my expression (of sublime joy) as I tried it the broth with a little piece of crispy buttered bread. You can see everything on your face—the pleasure you get out of just a little taste. A little taste of heaven is all a person really needs. A little sip of vinho verde, a little conversation about gardens, a little bit of love and laughter over food. A little taste of the perfect something that is Lisbon.

If all that wasn’t enough, we had a little bit of lemon sherbet for dessert, to which our generous and jovial waiters added a shot of vodka. I sailed out of there and home in the cab, absolutely euphoric, feeling so blessed, so lucky and so happy under a full moon.

Typical Lisbon.

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