Following Frank’s Lead in Lisbon

August 20, 2012


Skate Jackson Pollock. My college art major self was completely enthralled with the dish before I even got the opportunity to taste it. It was when writer Frank Bruni wrote about his not-to-be-missed Lisbon restaurants back in May that I first caught a glimpse of this artful skate. A dish dreamt up by Portuguese wunderkind chef Jose Avillez at his elegant Lisbon eatery Belcanto. The picture accompanying Bruni’s excited paean to the city’s rising food scene showed a spirited landscape of drips and drops and splashes of color atop a slender filet. It looked like no fish dish I had ever encountered; in fact, without the caption below the photo, I probably wouldn’t have even realized I was staring at a plate of food. So when I found myself in Lisbon this summer, I knew I needed to get a closer look at that dish. Belcanto was my splurge meal of the visit, and, I’m happy to report, worth every Euro. A parade of beautiful inspired dishes landed in front of me as part of the seasonal tasting menu, but I was waiting for just one to arrive. And then it did. And I felt the same sense of joyful awe that I had in college when I would loiter in the impressive Pollock section at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The bonus with this one though: it looked and tasted incredible. Those orange, green and black sauces (carrot, olive and cuttlefish ink), the flaky tender filet, the buttery afterglow—a new kind of masterpiece. FIORELLA


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TAGS: art, fish, food, restaurants, travel,