George Mendes’ cooking is nominally Portuguese and informed by the Iberian Peninsula, but his kitchen is not hamstrung by tradition nor afraid of venturing further afield in search of great ingredients, like the Hokkaido sea urchin, served here on toast with cauliflower purée and shiso. For a well-rounded experience, create your own four-course prix-fixe or even go for the chef's tasting. The seasonally pertinent dishes deliver on flavor but also come with a certain refinement, as evidenced by fish and seafood dishes like shrimp alhinho topping the bill. Finish with a basket of sonhos—warm, sugary beignets of delight—but in the knowledge that only heroic restraint will prevent you from polishing them off with unseemly haste. They’ve made good use of what is quite a narrow space. To reflect the restaurant’s name, which translates as “village,” the setting is imbued with warm and sunny shades. The liveliest place to sit is facing the open kitchen; the second floor is more subdued and better suited for those on dates or doing deals. The servers are delightful and seem to be both genuinely proud of their restaurant and eager to see their customers enjoying themselves.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors
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