Georg Friedrich Hegel described the evolution of human ideas as involving a thesis, followed by an antithesis, and then by a synthesis that reconciles the two. Believe it or not, these concepts are useful to explain the cuisine of Belcanto, a fantastic Lisbon restaurant owned by chef José Avillez.
The modernist cuisine of restaurants like elBulli is the antithesis of traditional Portuguese cooking. Avillez combines the two in a delicious synthesis that is both familiar and surprising. He serves olives bursting with flavor, golden eggs, seafood immersed in the smell of the sea, manta rays transformed into Pollock paintings.
The Michelin inspectors were so impressed with Avillez’s culinary dialectic that they awarded Belcanto a star. We suspect Hegel would agree.
Belcanto is located at Largo do São Carlos in Lisbon, tel. 21-342-0607.