Portuguese master chef José Cordeiro has opened a new restaurant in Lisbon.
The talented owner of the new eatery - called simply Chefe Cordeiro - is dividing his time between directing the kitchen and overseeing his other restaurant, the Michelin-starred Feitoria, located in Belém.
Chef Jose Cordeiro in his new restaurant. — Photo courtesy of Paul Bernhardt
Chefe Cordeiro is situated on Praça do Comércio, the vast square located near the river in the city’s Baixa (downtown) district, and set under the arcades of the beautiful eighteenth-century Pátio da Galé. Seating is also spread across an outside terrace.
The historic veneer complements a stylish and contemporary interior. Tables on the ground floor cater to the casual diner, while those upstairs are set for more formal occasions. The adjacent oyster and sushi bar features an open kitchen, where customers can observe José and Resident Chef João Simões and his team at work.
“I was born in the kitchen,” says José. “I like to show people how we cook. A lot of people are interested in culinary technique and the culture of gastronomy.”
The seasonal menu lists an array of inventive dishes, including one of José's signature plates, arroz malandro – Portuguese Carolino rice with monkfish and prawn, garnished with lemon and coriander. The chef works with local producers and frequently travels the country to source the very best ingredients.
The daily specials are designed to fill you up without leaving a hole in your pocket, and there’s an introductory "tourist menu" for those unacquainted with the textures and flavors of Portuguese food.
“I was seven years old when I realized I wanted to be a chef,” José remembers. “My mother influenced me a lot, and I still have the imagination of a child: anything is possible!”
The dining experience extends to an excellent selection of beverages.
Wines from across Portugal – intense oaky reds, fresh fruity whites and a connoisseur’s collection of port and Madeira – grace the cellar. The cocktail list is selective but seductive, and to celebrate, there are no less than seven French champagnes to choose from.