Bairro do Avillez
The name of José Avillez‘ seventh food project couldn’t be more accurate; Bairro do Avillez (which means Avillez’ neighborhood). Located in Chiado, it is indeed the beloved neighbourhood of two-star Michelin chef. After the other food adventures from the chef – Cantinho do Avillez, Belcanto, Pizzaria Lisboa, Mini-Bar, and Café Lisboa, now he has opened Bairro do Avillez.
The location, a former convent, the Trindade Convent, seems to be the perfect place for such heavenly mouthwatering food, as foodies might agree. The renovated convent includes a project by architecture studio Anahory Almeida, an artistic interventions from Portuguese artists Joana Astolfi and Caulino Ceramics, and the mural from the most well-known Portuguese tiles factory, Viúva Lamego. It is worthwhile visiting, even if just to look at the space which looks like a traditional neighbourhood in one of Portugal’s smaller villages.
Inside, the space is divided into two main areas: on one side, there is Taberna (the name for Tavern in Portuguese), a Charcutaria (name for charcuterie, in partnership with Manteigaria Silva) and Mercearia (Name for grocery, where you find some gourmandises and kitchen-ware); and on the other side there is Páteo, that is organized in two floors.
But what can you eat there?
At Taberna, you can have typical Portuguese dishes with an inventive twist, such as the horse mackerel in seaweed cone with spicy mayonnaise; A lupine’s ceviche, or a recreation of the pork ear salad into a bat ear salad (using the Chinese algae instead of pork meat); Grilled asparagus with mushrooms and smoked eggplant.
At Mercearia you can try some of Portugal’s best cheeses and charcuteries. If instead you want to have some fish or seafood, you can have a perfectly cooked sea bass or tuna belly at Páteo. When José Avillez asked people what they would like to have when eating fish and seafood, most replied they’d like to have boneless fish, or something more experimental, traditional flavours but beyond the obvious and ordinary. Hence at Páteo, the best fish and seafood will be served, using modern cooking techniques that will give fish a new sensorial twist, like fish cooked in vacuum.
The areas are all different and yet they have one thing in common – all capture the best Portuguese flavours and food with the signature of one of Portugal’s best chefs.