Ages ago I wrote about a little place where we liked to eat lunch in Lumiar. Last weekend we drove over for our semiannual lunch beside the river, and Barra Vento was closed. Wire fences up, weeds growing, doors barred, CLOSED. The lasts time we drove over, the restaurant was packed with people, eating, picnicking, swimming, fishing, how did they close down? I am digressing but before moving on, I will say that this happens way too often here – I imagine everywhere - the dream gets stomped by reality or some such poetic mumble jumble. On to this week’s story.
So last week, after finding our favorite place closed, we drove to the square and Camillo got out of the car and ask around. Word of mouth works best - make a right on the next street, bare to the right at the split and back from the corner on a one way street is a little place called Quintal (backyard). We were hungry. We’d driven for 35 minutes to have lunch. We love to try new places. We found a place to park and went in. [Owned and operated by Aline – Quintal is located on Rua Júlio Ambrósio Pamerim #80, central Lumiar – phone 22–9872-7909 email: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Inside was cool, clean and inviting. An old house converted, there were old wood plank floors, nice sized wooden tables in almost private spaces for dinning, and outdoor seating in back that said “kick back – relax! you’ll like it” and best of all - big smiles of welcome. We sat outdoors because our intention had been to eat out by the river and from our table we got a glimpse of the kitchen work area. The owner, with good humor, agreed to take a moment and pose for me.
Lets not forget the menu. Two pages only. Not pages and pages of food prepared last month and frozen to use on a busy day. No, 4 main course items – two meat courses and two fish.
The couvert (served before the main course but not an appetizer per se) was fresh made eggplant, pate (spread) of blue cheese, chutney and freshly toasted torados, (toasted left-over bread) You have to be very familiar with food here to know how special this was, to know that you can buy these bits of bread – dry and tasteless - in the grocery stores and often get them in restaurants as well. To have really fresh toast for these fresh spreads was really good. If I hadn’t been driving (dry law) I would have just enjoyed the couvert with wine and been very happy.
We all chose trout with different toppings, fresh green salad with a homemade honey mustard dressing (UMMMMM!) and other sides to numerous to mention. Okay this is the Truth – we drove back over today to have the trout AGAIN! This is probably the best recommendation we can make for a place to have the same meal two weeks running. This week there was music. The restaurant was totally filled (last week rainy – this week a 3 day weekend with sunshine) Service was a little slow today because of the crowd, but tolerably so and the trout was once again absolutely super.
see recipe I found on line for a blue cheese pate.... I didn't ask for the recipe - but it was very good. http://www.musthavemenus.com/guide/recipes/appetizers/blue-cheese-pate.html
(Jan 2012 – no longer open – a great loss)