Although Spain has long been a hotbed of culinary innovation, its neighbor to the west took its time developing the idea of “contemporary Portuguese” cuisine. Now Lisbon explodes with exciting restaurants helmed by chefs who riff on Portuguese tradition without being bound by it. It was painful not to revisit restaurants I loved on previous visits, but these new discoveries provided ample compensation.
Chef Henrique Sá Pessoa moved stylish Alma, his first restaurant, to its current Chiado location in 2015, and this year he earned a well-deserved Michelin star. The menu incorporates Portuguese ingredients and Mediterranean influences to great effect. Diners can choose one of four prix-fixe menus or order à la carte. We tried the “Alma” menu, which included a garlic clam that burst with flavor, an escalope of foie gras with cacao crumbs and purées of apple and pistachio, red mullet and polenta in a bouillabaisse-like broth with samphire, and crunchy-skinned suckling pig in an orange-inflected sauce with contrastingly bitter bok choy.
Rua Anchieta 15. Tel. (351) 21-347-0650