Ana Moura, the young chef at Cave 23 in Lisbon, was born in a family of gourmands who planed vacations around restaurant outings. Her father, António Moura, runs a jewelry firm that produces sumptuous pieces of handcrafted filigree. Her mother, Fernanda Lamelas, is an architect and a talented watercolor painter.
It is easy to find traces of parental influence in Ana’s food: there’s an architectural quality to the presentation and an intricate detail that makes each dish look like a piece of jewelry. The hake, as white as a pearl, came adorned with a spirulina mayonnaise, dressed with a bouillabaisse sauce, and accompanied by pennyroyal, mustard, curry leaves, Alentejo bread, manga and white truffles. The cheese tart was encrusted with a ruby-red muscatel gelatin, delicate milk paper and honey foam.
Ana’s cuisine is centered on the flavors of the Portuguese cuisine. She uses foreign ingredients—Indian bread, Japanese roots, Vietnamese puffed rice—but only to make local ingredients shine brighter.
A passage through Arzak, a famous Basque restaurant, left Ana with a taste for bold flavors. She served us a large shrimp paired with bone marrow, the two flavors enhancing each other. The sublime crab soup was made with broth reduced for two days.
The menu features creative combinations of flavors that work well together: the rabbit rice came with persimmon, the crab meat with a radish bisque, the shrimp with a mousse of arugula and Azores cheese.
Cave 23 is a new star in the firmament of Lisbon restaurants. Our dinner was an intense, memorable experience.
Sadly, Ana Moura and her team left Cave 23 in the end of March, 2017. We can’t wait to be part of Ana’s next culinary adventure!
7 thoughts on “Cave 23”
Reblogged this on Under Construction … and commented:
This may make your mouth happy.
Next trip to Lisbon in October . Have to try then.
Olá António: foi um grande prazer. Boa sorte com todos os projetos!
I wish I’d discovered your blog earlier… Great blog, heaven for foodies 🙂 I’ll definitely visit some of the places featured here. Thank you!
HI Namie: thanks for visiting. We hope you’ll come back soon. We’re always searching for the very best places to eat in Portugal.