André Magalhães believes the most important culinary trend in Portual today is a return to simplicity, and he proves the point in his hole-in-the-wall Taberna da Rua das Flores in Lisbon. We enjoyed two meals at the tiny restaurant during our stay, and found the mix of traditional Portuguese flavors and exotic touches to be inspired.
A chalkboard lists the dishes of the day, always based on the freshest ingredients available at the market, and innovatively prepared. The chef cites access to excellent food products, respect for the origins and producers of food, and distinctive regional characteristics as just a few of the reasons Portugal's culinary scene is so vibrant. The emphasis is on locally sourced products, including a great selection of wines from the hills around Lisbon.
There are many good kitchens flourishing in Lisbon, and around Portugal, but it's hard to imagine any operating with more passion--and compassion--than Taberna da Rua das Flores. The menu changes on a daily basis, and I recommend taking advice from the staff, to come up with the right number and mix of petiscos on offer here.
Chef Magalhães and his staff provided us with two memorable dining experiences, and we look forward to more, next time we are in Portugal!