Dining at Loco is like attending a jazz concert–there’s a feeling of excitement in the air. The restaurant lighting is soft, but the tables are lit like a stage, ready for chef Alexandre Silva’s performance.
We sat down and studied the interesting wine list curated by Mário Marques, an old acquaintance from Ceia and Cura.
The performance started with a series of delicious food riffs presented on a wide variety of backgrounds: stones, coal, shells, and much more. The tempo was fast, like John Coltrane playing Giant Steps. We recognized culinary motifs inspired by the classics of Portuguese cuisine. For example, there were disks of crispy chicken skin that tasted like the traditional roasted chicken with piri-piri sauce.
Then, the rhythm slowed down to a ballad tempo, like Thelonious Monk playing ‘Round about Midnight. A basket of artisan bread came with rich butters and a bowl with sauce from the traditional clams Bulhão Pato. There was also delicately cooked, perfectly seasoned black pork, pumpkin dumplings, and pristine fish dressed with colorful sauces.
The desserts were playful, pomegranate granita and supple ice cream topped with hibiscus crystals. Finally, there were some encores–miniature sweets that please the eye and charm the palate. It is a thrill to dine at Loco!
Loco is located at Rua dos Navegantes nº53-B, Lisbon, tel. 21 395 1861. Click here for the restaurant’s website.