Sea Me

Lisbon, Portugal is home to a unique restaurant that offers a one a kind hands-on experience. Literally. Sea Me is a Japanese restaurant that specializes in seafood with the fun twist of you being able to hand pick your dinner! It’s a whole new take on ordering whatever you want off the menu!

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My parents, having gone to Lisbon a few years ago, raved about Sea Me upon their return home. As a result, when I told my parents I too would be traveling to Lisbon, they evidently insisted I make a reservation for me and my friends. Not being a huge seafood fan, I was a bit hesitant but agreed partly because of their enthusiasm, and also because of the unique opportunity and experience it offered. A few of my friends were hesitant as well, but luckily at least one of my seafood-loving friends Saige, agreed!

Saige and I entered Sea Me, and were instructed to walk to the back of the restaurant where they beautifully displayed various types of fish and seafood. Being from a coastal town in Massachusetts (USA), I am used to a lot of seafood; however, I was thoroughly impressed and surprised at the range of options they offered. After examining the vast display, I finally decided upon sashimi, but struggled with the decision to get tuna or salmon, and eventually decided to get both! I then was able to pick the exact pieces of the salmon and tuna used that would be used to make my Sashimi. My friend Saige opted for an absolutely enormous crab she had spotted on the left side of the glass display. We returned to our table and waited for them to prepare our choices. And, even though we personally handpicked our meals, we certainly did not anticipate what was coming.

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My salmon and tuna sashimi was beautifully presented on a black stone slab. The huge pieces of tuna and salmon were cut seamlessly, and organized perfectly, topped with caviar and completed with ginger, and sea weed sides. I almost didn’t want to eat it because it was arranged so nicely!

Saige’s crab, however, was the big surprise of the evening. Being a small girlFullSizeRender-2, only 4’9 herself, the dish seemed to absolutely overpower her small features! As you can see by the photo, the dish is extremely large and she was more than excited to crack into it!

 

Although it was a messy meal, both of our dinners were exceptional. The seafood really, could not be fresher, or more perfectly hand-picked (by us of course!)

I will say Sea Me was a bit pricey so if you’re planning on going be prepared to pay more than you usually would for fish or crab in a restaurant. However, although the prices were a bit higher than I would have liked, the experience made it more than worthwhile. I would highly recommend visiting Sea Me if you find yourself in Lisbon. After all, like my parents said, “When’s the next time you’re going to be able to hand pick your fish to order in Portugal?!”

Trattoria Za Za

Upon arriving in Florence, Italy this past weekend I was met at the airport by one of my best friends Danielle, who is studying there. Once we had gotten through the initial hug and catch up, we began discussing our plans for the evening, and she enthusiastically turned to me almost screaming, “we HAVE to go to Trattoria Za Za for dinner tonight, it’s INCREDIBLE” and Danielle was indeed, correct.

The two of us, along with three of her roommates made a reservation for 8:00 pm and were extremely relieved we had when we saw the line at the door upon our arrival! Trattoria Za Za is located in a quaint, colorful, and historical plaza, called Piazza del Mercado Centrale and has been in business since 1977.

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Piazza del Mercato Centrale

The atmosphere was vintage and cozy, very comfortable with mismatched furniture and chairs and winding rooms which continued to empty out into even more spaces, the restaurant literally appeared to keep going “back and back” Evidently, the extensive space was necessary for every table inside and outside was completely full, and the line to get in stretched around half the block! And it was only a Tuesday night!

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Trattoria Za Za’s menu was extensive, at least 10 pages long completed with every food option imaginable-from steak, to fish, to more traditional Tuscan cuisines such as pizzas and unlimited choices of pasta, they had it all. After much contemplation, I finally decided upon the Tagliatelle with Truffle sauce. Unknowingly to me before giving my waitress my order, truffle oil and truffle sauces are actually one of Trattoria Za Za’s specialities!

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The dish was indeed, special. The truffle sauce was rich and creamy but not over bearing, or too heavy, a problem I usually have with truffle dishes. One of Danielle’s roommates, Abby, got the Grilled Beef Tenderloin, and that did not disappoint either. An absolutely ridiculous size, the steak was served on a large wooden slab, looking almost medieval. Unfortunately they were out of the rosemary potatoes, which usually accompanies the tenderloin, but it was more than okay. The dish was instead served simply with lemon, putting emphasis on the taste of the beef specifically. The moist, tender meat was more than enough on its’ own, and I found myself asking her for multiple bites throughout the meal!

Following our entrees, we all opted for a lemon liquor sorbet to cleanse our palettes, also known as “Zaza very light lemon liquor sorbet” It was indeed light and refreshing, exactly what we needed after our extremely large meals. It was the perfect ending to a delicious meal.

I would highly encourage anyone visiting Florence to take a trip to Trattoria Za Za, but ensure to make a make a reservation ahead of time!