Dinner at Belcanto: Friday Evening

My Nashville neighbors and I planned to meet at the restaurant at 7:30. It was a 15-minute walk from my hotel and I recognized the neighborhood since my initial stay in Lisbon was just a few minutes away. The weather was pleasant and the streets weren’t yet thronged.

One of our party, who’s a pro at these things, made the reservations for the chef’s table in August and we weren’t disappointed with the seating. The four of us were seated with a solo diner from Los Angeles, who meshed well with our lively group. He had a 5:00 am flight back to L.A. and I’ll be curious to find out if he made it.

Our server, Beatriz, was an energetic 21 year old originally from Porto. We had chosen the chef’s menu and decided to go with the wine pairing, which provided us with a wide spectrum of rare Portuguese wines. As in many chic Michelin-starred restaurants, the dinner was a series of highly original small plates which interested readers can investigate on the many online reviews. Several of the tiny seafood plates were bathed in sauces made from the heads of the fish, including a large prawn. One can appreciate the art in imagining and then executing plates like these.

After the tiny but superb desserts, we were shocked that four hours had elapsed. Group photos were taken and posted to Instagram, which I haven’t checked this morning. The bill was predictably steep, but not as high as I’d guessed. Was it worth it? Yes, since it’s not something that I’d ever do on my own.

After dinner the group decided to go around the corner to The Ivens, where two of our party were staying. It was far past my bedtime, but I happily joined for one glass of wine. One of the neighbors was staying near me, so we walked back together and walked off the dinner, as they say. The other friends and the guy from L.A. ordered another bottle of red as we were leaving. I’ll need to catch up on sleep tonight!

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