Restaurant, Portuguese, Seafood, Cocktails, $$$
Combining the traditional and the avant-garde, Belcanto is chef José Avillez’s brilliant addition to the Lisbon dining scene. Avillez took over a decades-old restaurant in Lisbon’s Chiado neighborhood and transformed it into a gastronomic laboratory for Portuguese cuisine, which has now been awarded a Michelin star. His cutting edge take on classical flavors is key to the ever-changing menu and reveals the breadth and depth of Portuguese cooking beyond the typical tourist staples. Avillez claims that he looks ‘at haute cuisine as a form of expression’ and this is immediately apparent in his dishes, each of which offers a narrative in itself as well as being visually stunning and delicious. Highlights from Belcanto include the Skate Jackson Pollock, a delicious seafood dish presented in the style of the late Abstract Expressionist, and an Inverted Martini, in which the traditional cocktail is turned inside out and upside down.