c/ Comte Borrell, 145
08015 Barcelona, Eixample Esquerra
Mon-Sat: 11h–16h, 20:30–23h;
Sun: 11h-16h
Sometimes there’s a story and a half hiding just inside the swinging glass door to a typical Eixample local. In this case that door belongs to Lisboa, which belongs to Luisa and José, a Portuguese couple with a four-folder press book that you should only ask to see if you have, literally, all day. Their story needs to be taken with a grain of salt, as José fires away in his native Portuguese porque sí, perhaps assuming a Spanish speaker will pick up 90% (I’d put my number at around 45%, but here it goes.) After years running restaurants, caterings and cafés in Macau, serving ministers, diplomats and queens, Luisa and José returned to Portugal to open a Thai restaurant that, apparently, blew people away.

But when the crisis swallowed the economy whole, business slowed and staff moved to countries with greener pastures. Our couple then moved to Barcelona for a complete change, but, seeing as Luisa isn’t capable of staying out of the kitchen for long, Lisboa was born shortly thereafter. Forget about decor. Completely. They would much prefer to cook for you and chat with you than to redecorate. Come here for a lesson in authentic Portuguese cuisine (or to enjoy a taste of home if you are, in fact, that breed of Iberian). The shellfish and ham cataplana was outstanding (first-time cataplan-er!), as were the empanadas de cochinillo, the bacalhau espiritual and the lamb (a New Zealand breed raised in Portugal and prepared Alentejo style).

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