Belcanto Puts Lisbon On The Culinary Map

Belcanto is located on top of the hills in Barrio Alto. A neighborhood notorious for its night life shenanigans. Chef José Avillez runs a restaurant empire in Lisboa with multiple restaurants with different themes and cuisine. He draws influences from around the world but most of his dishes are Lisboa origin. Here are Belcanto’s awards:

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  1. 2 Michelin star in 2014
  2. 2 Michelin star in 2015
  3. #91 on the San Pellegrino 2015 World’s Best Restaurants
  4. #78 on the San Pellegrino 2016 World’s Best Restaurants
Belcanto Lisbon
The decor

The service is what is expected from a restaurant with its accolades. The atmosphere is very elegant but lively too. Everyone in the restaurant was having a good time and enjoying the experience. The wait staff all spoke English and did a great job of explaining the dishes.

The restaurant decor wasn’t too impressive. The dark leather seats and the wood wall gave the restaurant a very classy feel to it.  However, the lighting didn’t add any depth to the decor but it made it a bit dull and took away from the wood.

Belcanto Lisbon
Amuse Bouche

Now, the food. Belcanto has an a la carte and two tasting menus. We decided to go with the Lisboa tasting menu cause we wanted a Portuguese dining experience focused on traditional dishes. Here are the memorable dishes:

  1. Garden of the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg – The dish has an interesting name. It was a poached egg served with crunchy bread, mushroom and topped with gold flakes. The slow poached egg’s yolk was near perfect and slightly runny. The texture was smooth with the gold flakes added a crispy composition to the dish.

    Belcanto Lisbon
    Garden of the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg
  2. Suckling Pig Revisited – The suckling pig was served with fried potatoes, orange ouree and salad. The interesting part of the dish was the fried potatoes were chips in an edible bag. The salty chips and the crunchy suckling pig skin meshed very well together. The saltiness was balance with the sweet flavors of the orange puree.

    Belcanto Lisbon
    Suckling Pig Revisited

Overall, I thought Belcanto was a good dining experience. However, I wouldn’t say it would rank in my top 10 dining experiences.  The progression of the dishes was great but I didn’t find the flavors to be very intriguing. Lastly, I would say Belcanto is a decent restaurant when compared with other restaurants in its class.

Check out our other Lisbon articles here.

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  • 8/10
    Service - 8/10
  • 6/10
    Presentation - 6/10
  • 6/10
    Flavors - 6/10
  • 7/10
    Ambiance - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Decor - 6/10
6.6/10

Summary

Chef José Avillez puts Lisbon on the culinary map with Belcanto. It’s a long time coming and he’s the first Portuguese chef to be awarded two Michelin stars and lands on the World’s 50 Best restaurant list. The service was incredible and the wait staff spoke English. The traditional Portuguese fare is interesting and the flavors took me by surprised. Belcanto is an overall solid restaurant in Lisbon.

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