This marks the last of my Lisbon blog posts, but it doesn’t mean it’s of any less importance. I’ve heard about this restaurant quite a few times before but for a variety of reasons, never got a chance to visit. This time there was such an opportunity, a nice family lunch, to eat good food, excellent wine and even better conversations.
What makes Darwin’s Cafe so special? There is, of course, the food, the quality and variety of the wine menu but also the fact that this restaurant is named after the English naturalist scientist Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin is better known for his theory on the evolution of the species and the choice of name isn’t anywhere near dictated by chance. You see, this restaurant is integrated on a much larger complex, that is dedicated to the research and advancement of Science, the Champalimaud Foundation.
This opened a few years ago, back in 2004, after the will of the late entrepreneur António de Sommer Champalimaud. It’s mission is “to develop programmes of advanced biomedical research and provide clinical care of excellence, with a focus on translating pioneering scientific discoveries into solutions which can improve the quality of life of individuals around the world.” A restaurant in this set up, had to have a scientific theme to it, but of course.
When I arrived, I was surprised at how big it was, as I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It’s spacious and it’r decorated in a mix of modern and some other more classical elements that echo the old Victorian curiosity cabinets and museums, all mixed with quotes by Darwin himself.
What about the food? We had a variety of things:
Grilled goat’s cheese toasts with honey and walnuts over salad
Veal carpaccio with rocket and parmesan
Octopus tentacles over crumbled sweet potato and shallots
Grouper fillet on risotto
Cod fillet with a corn bread crust over crumbled potato and cabbage
While we were eating our food, this was the view. Not too shabby!
Because it was such a hot day, (I visited during one of the hottest weekends of the year, eek!) we were boiling outside and decided to go inside for dessert. That was a great plan as the inside is actually pretty cool as well.
Pineapple and sorbet
Chocolate muffin with vanilla ice-cream
Cheesecake with red berry sauce
I don’t remember what this one was called but it was pretty delicious…
After writing this post, I’m left sallivating, remembering all the deliciousness you can find at this restaurant. If you ever find yourself in Lisbon, I would definitely recommend that you pay Darwin’s Cafe a visit… all in the name of scientific research, of course.
Champalimaud Centre For The Unknown
Av. Brasilia, Ala B, 1400-038 Lisboa
For bookings call +351 21 048 02 22 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening times: Lunch: 12H30 – 15H30 / Afternoon Tea: 16H30 – 18H30 / Dinner: 19H30 – 23H00.
On Mondays Darwin’s Cafe closes at 16H00.