When asked what sort of food she would like to eat, a client of mine replied "fresh fish" and since it had been a very long while since I'd gone to Chiado (on my last visit there I didn't remember being particularly impressed) and I recalled that it behaves well as a "corporate" destination,and on top of which so many commended it on this board, I decided to give it another try and so we went there on thursday. I "valet parked" the car (I had gone to pick her up at her hotel) and was promptly asked for $10.00. "Huh?" My client said as she watched me fork over the money."The restaurant has valet parking and it CHARGES it's clientele?". Being from Los Angeles this was foreign to her.
Once inside we were very pleasantly greeted, helped with out of our coats and taken to our table. The restaurant was half full when we arrived (7.30pm).
We were presented with the platter of fresh fish examples to choose from and we both opted for the bream, a "whole" fish that was simply grilled with herbs and a little oil. My client chose risotto to accompany her dish and I the vegetables that came with it. For starters my client had the grilled squid that she declared as "excellent" and I the steamed clams which I found very good by virtue of the quality of the clam which was plump and perfectly cooked but to be honest, the broth it came in I found quite bland.
The bream I must say was stupendous. Cooked perfectly, moist,full of flavour and delicious. Surprisingly the accompanying vegetables were as superb. A very finely cut mixture of snowpeas,parsnips,potatoes and beetroot (!)which I don't as a rule enjoy but here it was delicious. My client also praised her risotto to the heavens.
We were both very happily sated and chose to skip desserts and linger a little with our wine and water. The waiter brought us the bill and I gave him the parking ticket. The restaurant was full when we left at 9.20pm.
The service had been very courteous throughout and very efficiently professional and my client liked the low-key classic ambiance. She called it soothing.
I would think that this restaurant is now definitely at the top of its game.
With tax and tip and three glasses of wine (two for her and one for me) plus valet parking, the evening came to $200.00.