I’m an honest person, so I will not bullshit you: this is one of the finest restaurants in Lisbon, if not the best speaking of quality and price.
I’m talking about 50 Maravilhas in Alcântara. Born from the coming together of Alcântara 50 and O Maravilhas, two well-known restaurants in Alcântara, 50 Maravilhas brings together a fancy restaurant and a rather modest-looking one, with one crucial thing in common: delicious food. Now visited by almost anybody who enjoys real tasty Portuguese cuisine, it was only two years ago that 50 Maravilhas found its home, on the street right behind its two ancestors. With a modern, yet traditional makeover, 50 Maravilhas embraced a new path, while maintaining the key ingredient of success: excellence and diversity of food.
Dona Ermelinda, one of the owners’ mother, has been the cook for 35 years. Her experience is invaluable and it's palpable in every plate that comes out of the kitchen. She’s a chef, an amazing chef that cares for the food she sends out, giving each meal the distinctive pleasure of being unforgettable.
Two of the owners, Luísa and her husband Carlos, are the faces that greet everyone with a smile and affection. This is a family house and just like that, you feel right at home, where everyone is friendly, efficient and warm to your every desire.
I’ve been to 50 Maravilhas a couple of times and my favorite thing about is the menu. Diverse, distinctive from other restaurants and extremely tasty. For instance, every Wednesday is Cozido à Portuguesa day, considered by many to be the national dish and, for me, the most incredible Portuguese dish ever made. It’s composed of a great variety of ingredients cooked in abundant amounts of water: various “greens” (kale, savoy cabbage, “tronchuda”, etc), rice, potatoes, beans, turnips, carrots, different types of sausages and other types of meat (usually pork) and sometimes with added bits of chicken.
Don’t be fooled by the ingredients, it’s tasty as fuck.
On Thursdays, you can try Feijoada à Transmontana, another typical dish, very difficult to cook with perfection. You also have Peas With poached Eggs or Carne de Porco à Alentejana.
I could go on and on and on.
There’s no better way to talk about 50 Maravilhas than to encourage you to pay them a visit and enjoy everything I’m talking about. In an age where gastronomic fashions tend to overshadow old-time restaurants, it’s cool to see that Portuguese cooking traditions are still alive.