Portugal isn’t known for its vegetarian cuisine. We love our meat and our fish. But I recently discovered one of the most vegetarian-unfriendly restaurants in all of Lisbon: O Talho. This meat lover’s paradise is brought to you by chef Kiko Martins, a Cordon Bleu chef who has also spent time at restaurants such as The Fat Duck, Ledoyen and AM Le Bistrot. O Talho means The Butcher’s in Portuguese. You guessed it: aside from a restaurant, it’s also an upscale butcher shop.
When you walk in, you first pass through the butcher shop. But it’s no ordinary butcher shop. The burger patties are already seasoned and vacuum packed. You can find sausages, bacon, steaks… you name it. All ready to take home if you decide you enjoy your meal so much that you need it in your life the next day. Great concept, right?
Inside the restaurant you will find a simple but tasteful decor. One wall is a giant curtain featuring a view of the Alentejo region, which transports you to where the cow you’re probably eating came from. I loved the wall of plates and the cool cow head.
Now for the food. My friend and I were so hungry when we got there, that we forgot to take photos of the ceviche starter (forgive me!). I highly recommend the couvert which was delicious bread and some really interesting and moreish butters (one of which, I believe, was a beet butter). For the main, I ate the Magret Asiático: duck magret with tapioca and eggplant mousse with miso and citrus fruits. YUM! My friend had the Burguer d’O Talho, which was also very delicious. The burger was deconstructed without a bun and I couldn’t help but steal her fries and aioli.
To make our dinner extra special, we shared the Dulce de Leche e Amendoim for dessert. I highly recommend this incredible sweet treat to everyone (unless you have a peanut allergy, of course).
Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised by the restaurant. My expectations for a meat restaurant were of feeling overly full and an inevitable struggle to finish each course. However, the portions were perfect and the food was light enough that you were able to finish your meal. Meat lovers: head to O Talho. For those of you who have already been, please let me know what your favorite dish is in the comments below so I can go back and try it.