Casa da Dízima, a seaside restaurant in the village of Paço d’Arco, is named after a medieval harbor tax levied in tribute to the king, and occupies an atmospheric building true to its original XV century design. The food is typical Portuguese, with a touch of fusion, a combination that makes new flavors seem like old friends.
Our group shared several appetizers: thinly sliced Pata Negra ham, olive oil from "Herdade do Esporão in Alentejo; and Queijo de Azeitão , a buttery soft cheese ladled onto thin-sliced bread. We also enjoyed clams “Bulhão Pato”, simply prepared in herbed broth; and crispy country sausages. Everyone's main course looked divine, but I can only attest to mine, a perfectly prepared crispy sea bass over black risotto and marinated zucchini curls. A plate of Serra da Estrela D.O.P. with preserved fruit made it a two-cheese meal. A medley of shared desserts followed by espresso provided a classically sweet ending.
Dishes at Dízima are prepared using national and seasonal products, with an aim to highlight their natural flavors, and these folks do it very well. The restaurant is popular with locals and the terrace bar has a stunning view of the Tagus River.
My husband and I enjoyed Dízima with friends on a sunny spring day, and we look forward to returning in summer, for a sample of the restaurant's tapas and ice cream selections.
If you get there before we return, save us a table!