Photographs by the inimitable Giulia Verdinelli
In this Lisbon bar, the menu comprises a holy trinity of decadent nibbles: homemade foie gras, locally-sourced burrata and oysters. Don’t even think about the first two until you’ve had half a dozen of the third. That’s why you’re here, is it not?
And these are some of the best oysters in town. Imprensa is run by two guys for whom this pearly mollusc is life. Before they opened, they went on a tasting trip over the river, visiting every oyster producer on the Sado Estuary to find their favourites. They often stay behind for hours after closing and eat oysters like they’re going out of fashion, which they aren’t because Imprensa has made them cool again.
Oyster hour is from 6pm-8pm every day. There’s also some great wines and a solid selection of lesser-known classic cocktails, such as The Last Word, a prohibition-era delight composed of gin and Chartreuse.
Named after the National Press, which is located just up the road, Imprensa’s aesthetic is industrial: a robust zinc bar, a few high tables with wrought-iron high chairs and warm yellow lights glinting off metal touches.
Once whet your appetite with some oysters, you can order the magnificent foie gras (homemade by a friend bartender, we’re told) and a plate of burrata and settle in to watch the light change from gold and amber to inky blue as it filters in through the open windows, through which friends chink their wine glasses and slurp from shells.
Despite the country’s enormous production of them Lisbon has no real oyster culture. But Imprensa is slowing changing this thanks to their daily oyster happy hour, which is, the young and trendy Lisbon set is realising, the best way to end a day at work.