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A Michelin Star Proposal ~ A Week in Portugal

August 12, 2017

 Since Sean's phone was dropped in Porto, and my phone batteries were drained after Sintra, we had no way to document our meal (or the rest of our evening) aside from this fish-eye Go-Pro photo  in front of Padrão dos Descobrimentos. See our shadows? Future Husband + Wife!

 

Cutting short our day-trip through romantic Sintra, we raced back to Lisbon in time to clean up and make our dinner reservation, which at this point still remained a surprise. We hailed a tuk-tuk to take us across Lisbon to Belém, another richly historic part of the city that features many famous landmarks of Portugal. 

 

We strolled along the strand to take a close-up view of the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a massive monument originally conceived and designed in 1939 by José Ângelo Cottinelli Telmo and Leopoldo de Almeida for the 1940 Portuguese World Fair. The Monument of the Discoveries marks the point of departure by ships who left Europe to explore and discover much of the rest of the globe, from India and Asia to the Americas. 

 

 

Turning to face the Torre de Belem in the distance, we walked into Feitoria, a Michelin Star restaurant led by Chef João Rodrigues. Feitoria overlooks the water and elegantly represents the deep culture and history of Portugal through food and dining. This was the first time for either of us to dine in a Michelin Star restaurant, and neither Sean or I were bothering to hide our excitement. Laughing gratuitously, and maybe even dancing at the table (a little), I think the serving staff welcomed the energy we brought to their evening.

 

We each ordered the full tasting menu, a six-course meal with wine pairings. Each dish was conceived with intention and prepared by a sculptor’s hand, every bite meaning to be fully experienced. For example, our lime-watermelon amuse bouche resembled a typical bite of watermelon by sight, but its texture was the surprise: more of a watermelon puree, frozen and blended again and somehow still providing a pleasant chew, with a crisp, invigorating flavor…

 

The cuttlefish was our favorite by taste and curiosity, followed by prawns whose au jus was made right at our table in a beautiful, antique-style, copper, hand-cranked press. The prawn heads went in the top, and came out the bottom as sweet, creamy broth right into our bowl! We drank it alongside the tails of the same animal.

 

Other dishes were equally impressive in style and flair, from dry ice for mood, and a full bonsai tree for presentation; surprising foods were pickled, mashed, fried or frothed to create an out-of-the-box culinary experience, and each representing a traditional ingredient from Portuguese cooking, paired with wines from the local regions.

 

When dinner was over, we decided to head back to the Tagus River and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos to walk off the wine and watch the sunset. I had already felt so satiated with love and joy and pure happiness from spending nearly every day of the last five years with the man of my dreams (and our fur baby, Meanu Reeves), that it was impossible to prepare myself for the overflow of my heart and complete elation of my soul when Sean dropped to one knee, holding a stunning antique diamond ring in his fingertips, and spoke out loud the words “Baby, will you marry me?” 

 

This ring is so exquisite! Antique, handmade Edwardian, approximately 100 years old. I absolutely LOVE it!

 

Since the moment I met him, I’d been secretly referring to him as “My Future Husband,” so this was the easiest “Yes” in history.

 

With the sun quickly fading, we raced home to our cozy airbnb and woke early the next morning for a full day touring Lisbon by foot (and our final day in Portugal). 

 

 

other posts from

~ A Week in Portugal ~

 

Why 1 Day in Sintra is Not Enough ~ A Week in Portugal

One Day Walking in Lisbon ~ A Week in Portugal

Two Perfect Days in Porto ~ A Week in Portugal

A Travel Style Guide ~ A Week in Portugal

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