R. Duques de Bragança 7, 1200-162 Lisboa, Portugal +351 21 199 2369
I walked by this place after dining at another and was really attracted to the look of it, then later …Rating:
I walked by this place after dining at another and was really attracted to the look of it, then later found out it was done by a pretty famous and well respected chef, named Jose Avillez, and top rated. He has four restaurants in the area, one with a Michelin star. It is casual chic, as all the restaurants are in this area, with chilled out well-heeled patrons filling it up to the seams. When we went, there was a famous Portuguese architect behind us, which left my date a little awed. The walls are covered with small and medium sized traditional blue and white plates, forming patterns within their placement, creating an exceedingly cool effect.
I started with a piscos sour, which was deliciously foamy and perfectly sweet and sour.
First arrived a cherry gazpacho. Cherries were in season during the tasting of this restaurant and could be seen everywhere- so I loved the use in this cold and summery soup. The cherry gave it a slight tart and sweet quality that worked really well, and added at the center was a little pleasing touch of soft goat cheese, which gave it creaminess and depth. The rich luxurient red color was enticing and sexy.
Next I tried the house cured tuna, which had a “tuna from a can” texture, but harder, meatier, and richer…it was cured in soy and mirin and has a lovely miso mayonnaise squirted about the top. Really tasty and interesting, lime zested and pink peppercorned.
Then we had whole long green beans battered and fried and served in a cute baby fryer with a pickled mayo sauce. This is a traditional Portuguese dish taken to a gourmet level. A great interpretation, although I think a salsa or gazpacho sauce maybe would’ve been more interesting…
We also tasted the raw scallop and avocado dish with tiny crunchy breadcrumbs sprinkled generously on top. The flavours were very soft and gentle, with only the breadcrumbs to give a touch of texture. My mouth was hungry for a bit more excitement, although I appreciated its elegance.
Lastly, we had the cod, in which we shared, and in which the kitchen perfectly separated for us to keep in step with the presentation. The softly poached cod was topped with a runny oozing egg that gave a sensual, almost sexual, quality to the dish, and the quiet flavors melted perfectly into harmony. A symphony of subtle elegance. And for all its delicateness there was a real richness to the dish, a satisfying heartiness.
This is an extremely cool place, with style coming from every area- the food, the chef, the interior, and the clientele. If you had one night only in Lisbon, I would recommend this restaurant.