Since we were staying at the Myriad by Sana hotel, and driving back from the Algarve, we opted for dinner at River Lounge to keep things simple. Unfortunately, one of the reasons I booked the Myriad hotel was to experience the renowned Fifty Seconds restaurant, located atop the hotel in a round dining room, but they were not open on Monday. Darn. Though, the River Lounge was nothing to sneeze at!
The dining room has windows on three sides revealing spectacular Tagus river views, the cool Vasco da Gama Bridge which happens to be the longest in Europe, and its surrounding deck (which looks to be a fun spot in the summertime). This hotel is located in a newer section of Lisbon, and next to the park (Parque das Nações) that was part of Expo 98. It’s far from the center of town, about a half hour cab ride, but has a charm all its own.
Chef Frederic Breitenbucher, presides over the restaurant, another Portuguese chef who worked at Michelin-starred Fortaleza do Guincho. (see our Epur restaurant review for the other chef alum) His menu offered an artistic approach to traditional dishes. I think they may have had an off night the night we went. It was a Monday, so perhaps the A-list crew was not on site. So, some of our dishes were disappointing. Read on.
We started dinner with a cocktail, one of the few we had since we were in Portugal (their menus usually only included classic cocktails). This drink featured the local bubbly, Divali, with passion fruit. It was quite refreshing. Right, the amuse.
For the appetizer, a Duck Foie Gras Bonbon with Mandarin was lovely. (Described as mandarin sponge and spices bread, and muscat jelly on the menu). Right, Secretos is a dish I fell in love with my last time in Portugal, whose star is grilled pork. The secreto (secret) is that the cut of meat comes from between the shoulder blade and the loin of prized Iberian pigs. This dish is described as: Braised Iberian Pork Loin and “Secretos” with chestnut-stuffed bok choy, cèpes (mushroom) and roots, and chestnut and hazelnut gnocchi. There was a pork belly cube, a roll of pork, plus the grilled bites. A happy trio of pork.
Our wine du jour: 2014 Lavradores de Feitoria Quinta da Meruge, Douro, Portugal, a white blend from Douro. Right, the deck in front of the restaurant, as photographed the following morning.
Bob ordered the Atum Marinado as an appetizer. Marinated Tuna From Our Sea With Elderberry and Lime Vinaigrette with apricot sponge, crunchy vegetables, parmesan tile and espelette pepper. (I’m not sure what “sponge” refers to in this translation from Portuguese: Atum Da Nossa Costa Marinado Com Vinagre De Sabugueiro E Lima: esponja de alperce, legumes crocantes, telha de parmesão e pimento espelette)
Bob ordered the Skate and Monkfish with green asparagus and artichoke, sauce mariniére with basil and risotto of “bivalves.” It looks lovely in the photo, but was completely overcooked. The risotto was served on the side.
River Lounge, Lote 2.21.01, Parque das Nações, R. Cais das Naus, 1990-173 Lisboa
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