Understanding Couvert at Restaurants in Portugal

Couvert at Restaurants in Portugal: A Guide for Visitors.

Couvert is essentially a pre-meal snack or appetizer that is served to guests at restaurants in Portugal. It is typically a small plate of bread, cheese, olives, butter, and sometimes other small snacks like ham or sausage. Couvert is not free, however – it is often added to the bill as an additional charge. However, the price of a couvert is usually quite reasonable, usually a few euros per person.

When you dine at a restaurant in Portugal, you may notice a small dish of bread, cheese, olives, or other snacks placed on your table before you even order. This is known as “couvert,” and it is a common practice at restaurants throughout the country. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at couvert and how it works in Portugal.

The purpose of a couvert is to provide guests with a small taste of local Portuguese cuisine and to whet their appetites before the main course. It can also create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere at the restaurant, allowing guests to socialize and chat over a small snack before their meal arrives.

Couvert Etiquette

When you see a couvert on your table at a restaurant in Portugal, it’s important to know a few things about etiquette. Firstly, the couvert is not free, so it will be added to your bill if you eat it. Secondly, if you do eat the couvert, it’s polite to leave a small tip to thank the server for bringing it to your table.

It’s also important to remember that couvert is optional – you don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to. However, if you do want to try it, you can always ask the server what’s in it or if there are any regional variations that you should try.

Variations of Couvert

It’s worth noting that this concept can vary from region to region in Portugal. Some areas have their own unique variations that are specific to the region’s culture and gastronomy. This can give you an opportunity to try different variations depending on where you are traveling in Portugal.

Finally, it’s important to remember that couvert is not mandatory. If you’re not interested in trying it, you can always ask the server to remove it from the table. There’s no reason to pay for something you don’t want to eat, and most restaurants will be happy to accommodate your preferences.

In conclusion, couvert is an important part of the Portuguese gastronomic experience that you should try when visiting Portugal. It can give you a taste of different local specialties and help create a cozy and relaxed atmosphere at restaurants. Just remember to check if the couvert is included in the price, and don’t be afraid to ask for it to be removed from the table if you’re not interested in eating it.

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