best restaurants in lisbon
Review: Tasting Menu at Feitoria Restaurant in Lisbon
Those who do not routinely read my blog every day might wonder why a Sacramento Realtor would write about the tasting menu at Feitoria Restaurant in Lisbon when she instead could be farming for buyers and sellers and writing about Sacramento real estate. I write about what I do, and sometimes, believe it or not, I do other things than sell Sacramento real estate. I could go on vacation to Portugal, for example, in search of a Michelin Star restaurant and find the tasting menu at Feitoria Restaurant in Lisbon, shoot a bunch of photographs and decide to share. There are no rules about Sacramento real estate blogs.
One of the places the Sofitel Hotel recommended to us was Pastéis de Belém, and the guy was really insistent that we go there to sample pastries. It is apparently a famous pastry shop. He drew big circles on the map to show us where it was located. We grabbed a cab and spent the day visiting Belém to see the Berardo Museum, Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, the usual things to see in Lisbon. Yes, that’s Judy Garland on the wall. Against my diet, we sampled pastries, too.
Our real focus, the highlight of our visit to Belém, was being on time for our reservation for dinner at Feitoria Restaurant in the Altis Belem Hotel & Spa along the Tagus. It is a Michelin star restaurant. Living in Sacramento, it’s not like we have any Michelin star restaurants around us unless we drive to the wine country or San Francisco. I’ve probably dined at fewer than a dozen Michelin star restaurants in my life, something I hope to continue to rectify, and by far Alinea Restaurant in Chicago was the most expensive. But what we spent at Feitoria comes close to the bill at Alinea. Worth every penny.
We do not recall what was served to us in the bonsai tree at Feitoria Restaurant, but it was the first course of the tasting menu at Feitoria. Beautiful just to look at, right? And so utterly creative.
Our next course was served with our second wine pairing as well. We started with a glass of sparkling wine from the Douro region, but unfortunately I did not take photos nor write down the names of the wines. There were too many wines anyway, and the pours were extremely generous. While I enjoyed the wines of Portugal, there wasn’t any special wine I needed to order a case of. Which in retrospect means we don’t have to buy a new house in Sacramento to expand our wine storage.
This particular tasting menu is called the Journey Tasting Menu at Feitoria Restaurant. The chef, João Rodrigues, offers 3 tasting menus. The Journey seemed to be the most expensive and extensive. It’s an extraordinary cuisine, that promised to explore the best of Portugal, from its glorious regions, with unique twists and presentation. It is what you would expect from this beautiful city of 7 hills, referred to as the oldest city in Europe.
What is not to love about shrimp? This Carabineros shrimp comes from the southern most region in Portugal, The Algarve. Every bit as mouth-watering tasty as it looks. In fact, I’d say it’s on par with a lobster, and it’s so sweet there is no need for butter to enhance the flavor. Plus, don’t you love that plate?
Next up, my favorite course from the tasting menu at Feitoria Restaurant. It’s the sea bass. The skin was crunchy, nutty, flavorful and melt-in-your-mouth delicious that I could take my time getting down to the fleshy part of the fish. The sea foam was delightful. No sea bass in the world compared to this dish. Just fyi: Giant sea bass in California is an endangered fish species and Chilean sea bass is overfished.
I include this next photograph because we enjoyed a hilarious time with our server who prepared the liver sauce for the pigeon. She was grinding bones, feet, whatnot. You know, I couldn’t help but ask where the pigeons come from. Like, perhaps they caught the birds in the parking lot outside or lured the pigeons from their resting spots on top of the roof? What makes one pigeon better than another? She assured us the pigeon we were about to eat was not plucked off the property. But its place of residence was still unclear.
What was clear was how tender the meat. As long as I did not envision a pigeon clucking about, coo-cooing and making little pigeon sounds, or maybe it’s only mourning doves that coo, I was OK to consume it. I really do not want to know where my meat comes from. If I were stranded in the wilderness, I would become a vegetarian. No way could I skin a squirrel and roast it, for example, but then I do not really know my own capabilities. I never thought I could inject a cat with insulin, either, until I had to. Humans are much stronger than we imagine under dire circumstances.
The main course, well, you can see I didn’t stop to take a photograph until I was almost finished. That’s what 6 or 7 wine parings will do to you. I figured if any restaurant could prepare beef rare correctly, it would be a Michelin star restaurant. I’m so tired of ordering beef rare and getting it medium or worse, bloody raw, but I was not displeased. It was perfect. The charred grilled veggies were a perfect accompaniment to this tasting menu at Feitoria.
Then ending to the tasting menu at Feitoria was dessert, of course. This small gesture of sweetness was incredible. Who knew beetroots could be so sugary? I believe this was paired with a port. There might have even been a bit of ice cream before we departed. But not bad photos shot with an iPhone 6 Plus, if I say so myself.