One of the best-kept secrets in Lisbon is an amazing restaurant in Alfama called Boi-Cavalo (wildebeest). In a renovated old butcher shop, chef Hugo Brito places his prodigious technique at the service of Lisbon’s culinary tradition. The result is a dazzling array of delicious dishes, such as marinated mackerel with Alvarinho gel, clam soup with foie gras and grilled onions, cauliflower soup with requeijão (a Portuguese soft cheese), and peas with eggs in a dashi broth.
Luxury restaurants often employ pompous waiters who make clients feel they are not worthy of the food being served. At Boi-Cavalo, the service is orchestrated with such sympathy and grace that we feel right at home.
It takes great generosity to produce three-star food and serve it with such modesty in attitude and price. When the chef came to our table, he didn’t brag about complex preparations or rare ingredients. Instead, he simply asked: how did you like the food? We loved it!
Boi-Cavalo is at Rua Do Vigario, 70B, Lisbon, tel. 21-887-1653, email email@example.com.