In Portuguese, “pássarito” means little bird. It’s no surprise therefore that the walls of this Portuguese-speaking wine bar are covered in swallows. Those, and the famous blue earthenware tiles (the country’s second biggest export – after Ronaldo, of course).
However the charming Iberian decor does not overshadow the menu; expect sardines on toast, bísaro salpicão (a pork saucisson), super creamy Serra da Estrela cheese and bean salad. You can't go wrong with the generous servings of “petiscos” (tapas) to share with a beautiful bottle of Portuguese wine, such as a Procura red from Alentejo (€50-70 by the bottle) or la Réserve de la Quinta de Passadouro from the Douro valley. Their wine cellar contains the eternal favourite vinho verde (€13 for a bottle of la Casa santa Eulália), plus Dão and port (Lágrima do Cristo).
Pássarito also serves Parisian ham, Corsican coppa and la fourme de Montbrisson blue cheese. Mixing all these flavours and traditions with a good glass of biodynamic Cahors or Pouilly Fumé, plus a good natter with the cheerful team behind the bar will have you in high spirits. And you absolutely cannot leave without trying a pastel de nata, served lukewarm and sprinkled with cinnamon. They come all the way from the Pasteleria de Belém in the 17th and are the closest you’ll get to Lisbon without hopping on a plane. Saúde!
TRANSLATION: MEGAN CARNEGIE