SANTA CLARA DOS COGUMELOS
Santa Clara / 25 €
Santa Clara Risotto, Santa Clara Passion
Bank card, Cash
Suggested during the weekends
Santa Clara dos Cogumelos has a cozy and intimate atmosphere which makes it perfect for groups and couples. You can find it in a remarkable neighbourhood of the city right next to Feira da Ladra - a popular market, and Panteão Nacional - where distinguished Portuguese personalities are buried. Adding to that, the service is superb which leads me to conclude that it has all the ingredients to make eating here, a pleasant experience.
However, what makes this restaurant exceptional is a small but crucial detail- the fact that it is radically specialized in mushrooms. You can see the obsession with mushrooms everywhere: in the shelves overwhelmed with books and encyclopedias, in the aroma that invades the room and in the menu where its presence can be tasted in almost every dish.
The kitchen likes to take advantage of what is available seasonally to make the most of different experiments. The latest is smoking ingredients, seen on dishes like Salmon Tataki (smoked salmon filled with portobello sauce and dried tomatoes) and Duck Magret (smoked duck breast with porcini risotto \"al salto\") - both absolutely delicious. With options like this, it wasn’t easy to pick a dish (is it ever?), but after some savouring (and asking) I went with the Santa Clara Risotto: a wonderful risotto with a twist of porcini and the famous black trumpets.
If you assumed desserts are of off limits in regards with this mushrooms obsession, then you are wrong. I had the Paixão de Santa Clara, an ice-cream of boletus edulis with chocolate brownie. A mixture for which I had no reference, I didn’t know what to expect, yet I was pleasantly surprised. I singular experience that deserves to be repeated.