Henrique Sa Pessoa @ Mercado Da Ribeira
Da Ribeira is exactly what a food hall should be and puts anything in the US to shame. It is extremely spacious, the seating is plentiful, there is real china, silverware and glassware and the tables are cleared and cleaned for you when you are finished. The food and beverage options are fantastic and each ‘stall’ is a beautiful open kitchen. I decided to go with Henrique Sa Pessoa’s contemporary take on Portuguese cusine. Easily the best meal I have ever had in a food hall and a great start to the trip.
Saladinha de polvo
Tataki de salmao
Jose Avillez is perhaps the best known chef in Lisbon and of his restaurants my first stop was at Mini Bar. The influence of Chef’s brief time at El Bulli was certainly evident and I could have made a meal of the various snacks. I managed to limit myself to a few but could have easily eaten 20 more of the chicken skins. Unfortunately I got distracted by work and did not keep track of what my cocktails were but they were lovely nonetheless.
In all of my travels I have only had dinner at a restaurant in the hotel where I was staying once (excluding places like the Inn at Little Washington where dining and lodging go hand-in-hand). It was only by coincidence that I had booked the Internacional Design Hotel and then read a review of its restaurant Bastardo that sounded intriguing. I loved the colorful and mismatched aesthetic of the dining room (which was perhaps even better at breakfast during daytime hours) and creative touches like the Lego breadbasket and the placemat which read “On this magic placemat calories don’t count.” After a late dinner it was lovely to just walk up 2 flights of stairs and be in bed.