Couvert- "Bom apetite"

Soft crumbling cheese peppered and oiled on soft bread
My current restaurant fad is assembling torn pieces of fresh rustic bread with fresh goats cheese, and then topping them with extra virgin olive oil and ground pepper ( a near impossible find and a specal request required in local Portuguse tascas).This is part of what is called "couvert" (cover charge) and you are by no means obliged to eat it in which case you wont be charged.It applies in all places, from greasy spoons to the posh end restaurants.
When you sit down you are immediately given a basket full of bread, butter and cheese (usually a small whole soft sheep's cheese),sardine paste and olives.  
Sometimes in more upmarket establishments you are served salami, cheese spread in individual portions and pates (also in individual portions). You are then charged for this - it comes under 'couvert' in the bill.
Anything between 5 and 10 euros per head. Overall I have no complaints, as it is usually excellent; what better way to start the meal than with some chunks of wodgy fresh bread and fresh goats cheese or a cured sheeps cheese to toy with while you are perusing the menu and deciding what to order.
"Bom apetite" 
How we create a couvert at Casa Rosada
Fresh goats cheese or Azeitao
Moroccan Carrot salad
Marinated Anchovies
Couvert at Casa Rosada

Posh Couvert at Cha com agua salgada


  1. What a fabulous idea . . . I imagine it is a really good way to create a loyal following! Although my problem would be knowing when to stop, I could probably eat my entire body weight in a good goats' cheese!

    1. Likewise,this is the problem,you have pigged out on the starter and then have no space for the main course!!!!
      Sometimes if the particular restaurant is not busy they will allow you to just order the couvert as your meal with a glass or bottle of wine.It makes for a great light lunch with some good conversation and hopefully a stunning view.


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