UPDATE: THIS RESTAURANT HAS MOVED. NEW LOCATION: Rua Cardal de SÃ£o JosÃ©, 9 by Avenida da Liberdade
Last night I dined at Kaetano’s, a restaurant in the GraÃ§a district. It is not exactly easy to find and although there is an ordinary sign at the door, the entrance is a little nondescript. Yet inside it is a very well designed space, with contemporary decor and welcoming ambience. The menu lists Portuguese cuisine but none of it traditional, using alternative ingredients in classic recipes. Some of the dishes were international or contemporary but given a Portuguese twist. The dishes ordered at my table were exactly like that, a vegetable aÃ§orda (a bread stew usually made with seafood) and a cod risotto. They were priced at â‚¬8.10 each, but came presented in a style expected at a much more expensive gourmet restaurant. I tried them both and they were excellent. For dessert both my friend and I made the same choice — a warm chocolate cake with a mousse interior and a ball of ice cream on the side. The staff was very efficient and attentive, with a waiter even explaining how that dessert is made, and letting us know that it takes some time to prepare because it needs to stay in the oven (as opposed to the microwave) for some time before it is served.
With drinks and an appetizer of a small cheese plate and bread, the total came to â‚¬33.40 for two people. Considering the quality of the food and service, that is probably the best value meal I’ve ever had in Lisbon, especially when there don’t seem to be any decent restaurants left with dishes at 8 euros.
This is a place to be discovered, despite its location in a residential neighborhood, on a street that feels like the middle of nowhere or the end of some place.