Lisbon: one fine gastronomical play at Mini Bar
Mini Bar is just about the first thing a foodie must know before visiting Lisbon! Hats off to Jose Avillez, a young chef and entrepreneur, who has created a magical gastronomical play in a cosy (and somewhat theatrical) space in Lisbon's Chiado neighbourhood.
Opened in 2013, Mini Bar was almost an homage to Tickets, a small-plates Barcelona restaurant run by his friend Albert Adrià (yes, the brother of Avillez's former boss at El Bulli, Ferran Adrià).
In terms of food, Albert was definitely my biggest inspiration. When I opened I sent pictures of our dishes to the Tickets team - Jose Avillez
Offering three main experiences, patrons at Mini Bar can choose between: a fixed menu, an a-la-carte option or a surprise menu! Whatever you have, it's most likely you'll be tasting Avillez’s Belcanto best-sellers: the foie gras “Ferrero Rocher” with hazelnuts and a gold-leaf candy wrapper; the beautiful, bracing frozen citrus sphere (yes, molecular).
Yes, the Vietnamese pork sandwich is tasty and crunchy, the veal cheeks risotto is succulent and juicy but... one thing is certain. Avillez's burger is so good that it deserved a D.O.P. (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) mark, and that's exactly what it got. trust me, you're gonna want to have more of this so order up right!