Restaurant-Check: Belcanto, Lisbon **
It's a hot and sunny Saturday. Lunchtime. Finally arrived at the Belcanto restaurant at the Bairro Alto quater in Lisbon. After ringing the bell at the door, the manager welcomed us and showed us around the hidden and wonderfully designed restaurant. We were very surpried about the number of employees - they had about 15 chefs and 8 servers. However everything was very organized and you never felt disturbed. After we were seated, we had the choice between three menus. After a welcome word by a server, we decided to take the classic menu, which is actually the "smallest" with officially 4 courses - inoficially about 14 courses. A special wine paring of Portuguese wines was recommended by the head waiter.
The lunch started with a sparkling wine from 2003 which was accompanied with a explosion of lemon and olive - those explosions are quite modern and a musthave for every high leveled restaurant. This amuse-boûche was followed by a gazpacho in a cherrycrust served on a wooden spoon. The third amuse were three illusions: first ferrero rocher, which was cream cheese, second fried chicken, which was a kind of fish and third carrot, which wasn't a carrot.
Now to the first "real" course, a fresh sardine - a speciality of Potrugal followed by fresh bread with three kinds of butter: classic, susage-influenced and smoked butter. The next course was the highlight, the "gold-egg", a boiled egg covered with true gold leaf. The fourth course was pork with a fresh orange sauce, accompanied with lattuce hearts and crisps.
Now my favourite part begins - the dessert ;)! Starting with a raspberry sorbet followed by a variation of mandarin. A mandarin ice cream, a mandarin cream and a mandarin espuma inside an artisan mandarin. Last but definitely not least the petit-fours - a degustation of homemade sweets served with a glass of Porto.
All in all our lunch at this amazing two-michelin-starred restaurant was absolutely superb and perfect. The food was light and not too heavy - meaning a perfect lunch. We really liked this experience and can't recommend this restaurant by famous chef Jose Avillez enough! Make sure to reserve a lot in advance!
We were guests of the Belcanto Restaurant and Chef Jose Avillez. All above written expresses our own opinion and has not been influenced.