Saturday, November 22, 2014

Belcanto, a meal in Chef Jose Avillez Lab

Belcanto - Suckling pig revisited credits Paulo Barata

In the week that this restaurant was recognized with the second Michelin star, the return of the Restaurant of the week could not have another protagonist: Belcanto, much more than a restaurant, a box of sensory experiences that made me travel through a world of different textures, aromas and flavors that I had never lived before ...

Since I was a little kid I lived the ilusion of christmas, the family celebration, food and gifts... The story of this post begins precisely on last Christmas Eve, when I received a postcard with one that was "The Gift," a dinner at Belcanto, the lab of Chef José Avillez, a Portuguese chef I really admire among other things by the way it treats many of ingredients of Portuguese traditional gastronomy and gives them an innovative twist putting our cuisine in the panorama of international haute cuisine.

Last January 18, just a couple of hours before our reservation anxiety started to rise, my extremely high expectations started to cause me a real fear of disappointment.  Yes, was completely wrong and I had no idea of what was about to happen .. .

As it was the first time I visited the restaurant and we wanted to taste the classics. This was not only because I wanted to taste the dishes that have been kept in the menu from season to season but also because what I've mentioned earlier, the connection to the flavors and products typical Portuguese cuisine, as can be the sea bass, shellfish and piglet.

Our experience started with several amuse-bouches from which I would like to highlight two: the trilogy of false olives that made me think of the times of José Avillez in the kitchens of El Bulli: A black olive tempura, explosive olive and a spectacular inverted Dry Martini, instead of the usual gin soaked with olive, this time we had the olive juice with a gin bubble in the middle and the other which made travel to my childhood to a chocolate called Ferrero Rocher, in this case made of foie gras with a butter cover with a gold leaf.

The garden of the goose that laid the golden eggs started the menu, an egg cooked at low temperature covered with a gold leaf, crispy bread and mushrooms. A fantastic game of textures and flavors that have radically changed my expectations of having a great meal and took me to the field of sensory experiences, that kind of life experiences will always remain in our memory.
Belcanto - The garden of the goose that laid the golden eggs
Credits Nuno Correia

Followed by the dip in the sea, the name says it all, a perfect cocktail of products, textures and flavours that I can only describe as pure sea... This was the dish that most impacted me, as it made travel several years ago to my biology and zoology classes where we visited the beach Avencas in the outskirts of Lisbon (in Parede, Portugal).
Belcanto - Dip in the sea
Credits Nuno Correia

To end the main courses the reinvention of a typical Portuguese dish, Suckling pig revisited  with fried potatoes orange and salad. amazingly executed, with an extremely crispy skin of the sukling pig, which is achieved by a long cooking at low temperatures.
As a dessert the Mandarin a complex and refreshing dessert, which for me was clearly the least positive aspect of this meal.
Belcanto - Mandarin
credits Paulo Barata
More than negative opinion, as an opportunity for improvement It would be also important to have a wine pairing menu for this tasting menu of classics, as it already exists for the others.

If you are a frequent reader of this blog you have noticed that for the first time the photos were not shot by me, I confess that I was taken over by the emotions and left the mobile phone and notepad aside... so this whole post is based on memories of this magnificent experience that I lived there 11 months ago ...

Address: Largo de São Carlos, 10
Lisbon, Portugal
Telephone: +351213420607

How much?
See the tasting menus and prices on the web page.

No comments:

Post a Comment