A smallish place that’s only been open for 3 months – it is already quite popular. This could be due to the notoriety of Chef Henrique Sá Pessoa who has not only worked at a number of good restaurants but also published cookbooks and has his own TV cooking show. In fact, when they pour the olive oil at your table you’ll notice his picture on the label. He stands at the edge of the kitchen providing finishing details and making sure all plates are perfect before they are brought out. He brought out a number of our courses which made for wonderful detail about their composition – and he is a master here combining texture, flavor and color. All the staff were friendly and most helpful. They made it look fun to work there! It sure was fun to dine here – a winner meal!
You must press the bell to gain entry into the wonderful space that he has chosen for the place. It is full of preserved columns and arches and then highlighted with modern lighting and wine display racks. It is a warm and relaxed ambiance.
They offer à la carte as well as several tasting menus. We chose the Alma menu but I bet all would be good choices.
Everyone starts with an amuse of tapioca cracker with bits of sausage and paprika, it’s a nice smokey flavor. It comes with a delicious foie gras macaroon and a jar of salted cod, the most popular dish in Lisbon. This version is creamy like a sandwich filling and it’s very nice.
The sommelier was great and found us a delicious wine of Portuguese grapes.
There are 3 bread options and they all are quite tasty.
The grilled red peppers look like they’re charred but it is a tempura batter that just has a slight essence of smoke and a perfect crunch with the sweet pepper inside and a dipping sauce that perfectly compliments the flavor.
The marinated mackerel came with cucumber and roe all surrounded by tomato and lemon grass water sauce. It was a perfect combination of flavors.
The baby carrots come with bulgar wheat, dried fruit and raisins, fried herbs and goat cheese. The little sweet spikes from the fruits and creaminess of the cheese make this really sing – a wonderful combination of tastes and textures.
The foie gras was cooked perfectly and I loved the crunch of the granola with the sweet taste of the pears on top of the rich foie gras. Wow – this was a real plate licker!
The super fresh red mullet came with dots of red pepper and a sauce made from the fish. A grits-like stuff was underneath the fish that had been cooked with fish broth and helped to deliver flavor to the dish. The crunchy scales topping it all were a really nice touch.
The Argentine beef was served with celery purée was nice and thankfully a smaller portion. The barbecue sauce was not tomato based but still tasty but overall this course was weaker than the previous ones.
Basil sorbet started our transition to dessert and it was delicious with some incredibly flavorful fruit.
The drops of lime were intensely flavored and filled with fresh lime essence.
The cake came with a cream cheese ice cream and crumbles. It was really nice.
Final sweets were all lovely with the custard tart being a real standout but then chocolate truffle was a really good bite too.