UPDATE: THIS RESTAURANT HAS CLOSED
Copâ€™3 is currently one of the most talked-about restaurants in Lisbon. In 2006 its chef won the local â€œChef of the Yearâ€ award, and admirers of Portuguese cuisine have raved about his supposedly creative interpretations of it since then. Â My experience was very mixed.
First impressions were great. Unlike in the photos shown on the website, the space is pleasantly low-lit creating a warmer, more intimate ambience. Coincidentally or perhaps inspired by the location in the Santos Design District, it features some tasteful modern design in its dÃ©cor as found on the many shops in the neighborhood. Soft background music adds to the mood without being intrusive to conversation like at many other places.
The service was highly professional and practically flawless. Our order was taken by a waitress but was served by a waiter whoâ€™d obviously been informed who ordered what at the table, bringing the correct dishes to each of us four without having to ask us what went to whom. It was the simple yet notable details such as this one that made the experience stand out from others in the city. The disappointment only came with the food.
The chef is either very health-conscious or ran out of salt, as three of the four dishes were very bland. Adding to the complete lack of taste, the portions were far from generous and there was nothing innovative or particularly creative about them. Weâ€™re not talking about a haute cuisine restaurant serving a tasting menu here, so larger-than-appetizer-sized entrÃ©es are expected. With each averaging about 20 to 22 euros, they were also very overpriced.
We ordered two fish dishes, one meat, and a vegetable risotto (this last one was especially poorly served). To accompany that we chose a Quinta de Cabriz wine from Portugalâ€™s DÃ£o region. Only two of us ordered dessert, and it was the same one — a rice pudding with ice cream. The total bill was 120.50 euros, which we all felt really paid more for the service and the space than the food. It made it very unlikely that any of us will return, which is too bad considering the well thought-out concept, ambience, and service.
If I were to rate Cop3 from 1 to 10 (with 10 being the best), Iâ€™d give it a 9 for atmosphere and service, but only about a 4 for the food. If youâ€™ve been to this restaurant and would like to share your own experience, feel free to comment below. Â Perhaps you can convince me to return or let me know when the menu changes.