Translating into “snack”, Petisco (pronounced “pe-tea-sh-co”) is much more than a bowl of nuts (although roasted almonds are available if you’re just after a bev at the bar), serving up a variety of small plates inspired by the casual neighbourhood eateries of Portugal.
There’s plenty to tempt, whether it’s vegetable, meat or seafood you fancy, or a bit of all three – as a guide, five or six dishes are recommended to share between two. Very much influenced by traditional Portuguese cuisine is the peri-peri chicken skewer with crispy skin and house sauce, the slow-cooked fall-apart pica-pau “woodpecker” short rib, and the (clue’s in the name) Feijao A Portuguesa bean stew. There are croquettes, crackers and curly quavers; there are salsas, aoilis, emulsions and oils. There are old favourites like chorizo empanadas, pan-fried padron peppers and Petsico’s take on gambas pil-pil. There’s also a lot of imagination and some interesting ingredients, from saffron-poached octopus salad with bashed new potato and onion pickles to wild boar and beef meatballs in rich tomato sauce. Sourcing is obviously important to the people behind Petisco, with the pasteis de nata – those legendary melt-in-the-mouth egg custard tartlets – imported especially from Portugal.
All the white wines are Portuguese, as are most of the reds, while bubbles come from Spain and England, and there’s a selection of sherry and port to kick off proceedings or kick back once they’re done.