In my search on the internet to find an upscale restaurant to treat my Portuguese friends, this restaurant came up numerous times. I then remembered the chef's name as he has his own television show in Portugal. After much thought, and observing the menu, I decided to take my friends to this restaurant.
I went personally to the restaurant to request a table for the evening; of course they were booked that evening so I made a reservation for the following night. I wanted to surprise my friends with a nice dinner and knew they would be comprehensive towards the price (I was treating of course) so my very first request to the hostess was if she could supply two menus without the price; she said this could be done.
Upon our arrival, the hostess remembered me and showed us to our table. I was happy to see that she did indeed make sure that my friends' menus did not show the price as I requested. I did this so that they would order according to the food and not the price.
To start, I ordered the small partridge pie. One of my friends ordered the sausage filling that came in a small calphalon pot topped with crushed coriander seeds. Both dishes were delicious, and the flavors were well balanced. Not one component overpowered the other.
For dinner we ordered the scallop dish, the burger with foi gras, and I had the portobello mushroom risotto. I cannot speak for my friends' dishes as I did not try theirs but my risotto was amazing and extremely filling. The plate used was a little odd for risotto but every kitchen has their way of expressing themselves. For dessert of course my friend and I (after being so full) shared the hazelnut dessert. It was 3 layers of hazelnut heaven (ice cream, cream, hazelnut)...sometimes when a component is repeated like this, it becomes too heavy on the palette, but this combination danced well in my mouth. The creaminess of the hazelnut ice cream, the light airiness of the hazelnut cream, and the crunch of the hazelnuts were the perfect threesome marriage. And the best part? After eating this dessert, it did not lay heavy on my tongue; it was the perfect ending to the entire meal. I advise that if anything do try this dessert.
The restaurant is quite small. The lighting is dim leading to a nice atmosphere. If I had to mark a negative on this restaurant, it would be that our appetizers did not arrive at the same time. My appetizer arrived well over 10 minutes after my companions', and that is unacceptable most especially at a restaurant so highly praised and priced for upscale/fine dining (we pay for the experience as well). I did mention this to the waiter to make sure our main course arrives at the same time; he did apologize, and we three received our dishes at the same time.
Your check arrives in a little cup as opposed to a check book, which again is their style. I thought it was cute.
All in all I say we had a nice dinner at a very nice restaurant with delightful food; we left happy and unable to walk from all the food we were carrying on our midsections.
On the next day, I visit the restaurant hoping to get a glimpse of the kitchen for which the head chef allowed. It was a pleasure to know that from a very small kitchen comes such well put together dishes. And yes everyone, it is clean and well organized. These cooks are serious and professionals and appear to love what they do. I was even able to visit the studio kitchen where Chef Avillez films his television show. The pleasant surprise is that it is located within the same restaurant; just across from the main kitchen.
On my way out the door I left with the wonderful aroma of fresh mint, which one of the waiters was preparing for the evening. A cocktail perhaps?
I know this restaurant is a bit pricy in comparison to most eateries in Lisbon, but for the experience and the different food style and creativity, one should give it a try.
My 4 star instead of 5 comes from the appetizer wait. I'd give it a 4 1/2, but tripadvisor has no such rating.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.