Restaurant Review: Beco Cabaret Gourmet, Lisbon in Portugal
Research shows we’re increasingly splashing our hard-earned cash on experiences rather than possessions. It seems money can buy happiness if it’s spent on creating amazing memories! If this sentiment rings true with you, I’ve no doubt you’ll be interested in this next review.
Beco Cabaret Gourmet certainly puts on a night to remember; the Lisbon restaurant offers guests an incredible tasting menu, outstanding wine and one hell of a cabaret show. The venue is one of José Avillez’ many establishments. If you’re not familiar with Avillez, he’s one of Portugal’s top chefs and he certainly knows how to create a tasty menu.
The venue is hidden behind a secret passageway on one of Lisbon’s towering hills (admittedly you have to walk through another of Avillez’ restaurants to access the passage!) and, from the moment you enter, you’re transported right back to a 1920’s speakeasy. The dimly lit, glamourous venue is intimate with just 20 tables, seating only 48. Entrance to the night is ticket only, which just adds to the exclusive feel.
My boyfriend and I dined there back in June and I have to say it was a memorable dinner – and all for the right reasons! Every element of the night screamed luxury, from the table wear to the plush interior. Upon entering, the flamboyant cabaret host escorted us to a ‘very special table’, just beneath a cove in the wall. Thirty seconds into the show, it became apparent why it was ‘special’, I was literally sat beneath the four dancers for their opening song. Thankfully they had all remembered their underwear.
If you’re an insecure or possessive lover, I wouldn’t recommend you attend Beco Cabaret with your partner – throughout the show the cast work their way around the room paying each table a visit. However, be assured, it’s all very clean and doesn’t feel remotely shady – the tone is definitely flirty as opposed to raunchy. Importantly (for me anyway), the performance doesn’t detract from the stunning food, as the songs are scheduled so they don’t interfere with the courses, which is a masterpiece in itself, because you get a LOT of courses.
The tasting menu is never revealed beforehand, so I won’t spoil the surprise should you decide to dine there, but, trust me, it’s delicious. Avillez utilises Portugal’s incredible seafood and we were well impressed with the fish we were served. Equally impressive was the presentation and creativity of each plate; just like the evening, the food was fun and playful – the piece of candy served in a lipstick case was a perfect example of this, as were the chocolate ‘pearls’ served in a jewellery box.
Until travelling to Lisbon I hadn’t tried many Portuguese wines, but I left the country with a new appreciation of the country’s grape produce. Upon hearing our wine preferences, our wonderful, wise waiter recommended us a bottle of Esporão Reserva 2016. It was smooth, buttery and packed with fruity flavours-so good we made our way through two bottles! And I don’t think we were the only diners to get a little tipsy: the flirty feel of the evening lends itself to kicking back and having fun. This enjoyable, bohemian feeling is only enhanced by the friendly waiting staff, who seem to take great pleasure in topping up your glass!
The cabaret show and dining experience kicks off at 20:30pm every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and, by 22:45, the night is over. That is unless you want more… if one performance isn’t enough, guests are invited to stay for a later viewing, which starts at 23:00.
We left soon after the first performance, because, if I’d have stayed any longer, I’d have risked consuming even more delicious wine and possibly performed an impromptu cabaret act- not good.
In short, Beco Cabaret is your one stop shop for a night of stunning food, wine and entertainment. It’s not the sort of evening I’d regularly repeat, but it’s certainly well worth doing once in a while.
Address: R. Nova da Trindade 18, 1200-303 Lisboa, Portugal
Phone: +351 21 093 9234
All photography courtesy of Grupo Jose Avillez