Stairwell, a new wine bar that (also) deals very well with the food
May seem like a negative review, or, at least, a note less good for a restaurant that claims as a wine bar, and makes a show of your wine cellar, but the truth is that it was a only policeman who made the night a success greater. Do not remove merit to the wines, nor even to the excellent oysters, but there are meals that deserve to have a king, and, in the case of the Stairwell – Wine Bar & Creative Food, was the famous crustacean that won the crown, through the dish: only policeman with orange risotto (€23).
Returning to the beginning, which here must be understood as a first step in this new restaurant, you should understand, before you understand the concept, that the Stairwell is owned by the group Porto Santa Maria, which has as its flagship, the famous restaurant of the Winch. In fact, the north wind that blows from the Winch has dragged for Lisbon, several of the most well-known spaces of Cascais and, up to the Porto Santa Maria, the capital is not unknown, taking account of the pioneer experience in the Market of Ribeira.
Generic introduction is made to present now the Stairwell – Wine Bar & Creative Food (Rua da Misericórdia, 139, Lisbon. Tel. 213 471 644), which took advantage of the facilities of the old Organic Caffé (now, also purchased by the same group), as well as the knowledge acquired in the two areas central to the project: the wines and the sea, here seen by fish and shellfish. On a busy street, the movement of the restaurant is, preferably, a descendant. That is, in the direction of the basement or the lower floor, where the dining room, supported by a counter with four seats, and a tantalizing wine cellar, coordinated by José Peixoto.
At the entrance, besides the window that invites you to look and to touch the bell, in the name of a refreshing sangria or a cocktail, a “carpet” of glass, requires stepping on a few bottles and realize that the treasures should be in the basement. On this floor, a balcony also serves by the glass, more than half a hundred of references, an option that deserves praise!
Not assuming a classical restaurant (in spite of the good dishes that it serves), the Stairwell prefer to be a more informal space, dedicated to give to know the wines (they also make the evidence of the olive oil), and “married” with dishes, more or less, light, well cooked and of good flavor, and with attention to the quality of the raw material, a principle untouchable when it uses the trademark Porto Santa Maria, here (well) handled by the young Gonçalo Caratão.
Have proven to be a refreshing Oysters from the Sado, with a vinaigrette of tarragon and pearls of tapioca (€2,80/drive) and a great, but shy, Tartar of veal, mayonnaise, horseradish and spicy chips of artichoke Jerusalem (€12). Other options to take into account, in the strand “Poking” are Prawns to the Guilho (€9,80), a classic of the Winch, and the Salad of squid served warm with paint, emulsion of watercress, arugula and caviar sturgeon, white or beluga (€14). You can also choose by boards of cheeses, ham, sausages, or mixed (from €8,50).
In this game of choices, enters the scene, the sommelier service, to suggest parings more or less bold, and make known the vast wine list, with some 130 references, among classics, rarities and other less obvious, with highlights for the reds, that help bring fame and profit to the wine cellar of Porto Santa Maria. With such abundance, the best is to stay in the hands of responsible wine and let yourself be enchanted… from Tuesday to Sunday from 16h00 to 23h00.
Back to the food, the menu of the Stairwell – Wine Bar & Creative Food takes to the table 10 “chef suggestions” where, in addition to that already mentioned only policeman (harmonized with the also excellent Riesling Quinta de Sant’ana), deserve to be discovered, Grouper glaceada with bread asparagus and white sauce of shellfish (€17), the Cod with bread and grain black Bio (€18) and the Shovel of lamb at low temperature with mashed potatoes and smoked lettuce grilled (€16). To close, and it’s time to go back to ask for suggestions of harmonisation at sommelier service, we highlight the Cream brulée of orange (€4,80), and the Ferrero passion fruit (€6,50), which had the company of a Burmester LBV 1982.
For lovers (more or less experienced), a visit to the Stairwell – Wine Bar & Creative Food is the guarantee of a step which rises in the great ladder of knowledge leading wine national.
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