Fado Night

Fado Night at Leitao 01

At Leitao

Listen to live Fado music while enjoying a 4 course meal paired with 4 Portuguese wines and a welcome cocktail.

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Fado Dinners at Leitao

Fado Nights feature a 4 course meal, prepared by Chef Nuno Sousa, that pairs with 4 Portuguese wines and a welcome cocktail.

Fado nights usually fall on the seconds Wednesday of each month but dates may change. Tickets are usually available a month before the performance date and this page will be updated when tickets go on sale. Submit your email above and we will notify you when tickets go live.

Fado is one of the most intimate musical performances in the world, and will be performed between courses. This performance requiring a silent crowd.

Our menu features items such as lamb, pork, and varieties of seafood – staples of Portugal.

Due to the intimate layout of our cellar, you may be seated at a communal table with other guests.

Ticket refunds up to 7 days before the event.

About Fado Music

Imagine a melody woven from heartbreak and resilience, sung with a raw honesty that bares the soul. That’s the essence of Fado, Portugal’s melancholic yet strangely captivating traditional music.

Born in the working-class taverns of Lisbon, Fado emerged in the 1820s, its tunes echoing the struggles and joys of a life lived on the edge. The music itself is deceptively simple, built on the mournful wail of the 12-string Portuguese guitar, the viola de fado. Its melancholic notes, often likened to the cries of seagulls, intertwine with the singer’s voice, a deep, passionate instrument that tells tales of unrequited love, lost dreams, and the bittersweet beauty of life itself.

Lyrics, called letras, are the beating heart of Fado. They are poems of longing, infused with a potent mix of saudade, the Portuguese word for a deep, melancholic longing for something lost or unattainable. Saudade is a feeling that permeates the Portuguese soul, and Fado gives it a voice, allowing it to resonate and connect with listeners on a profound level.

There are two main styles of Fado:

  • Lisboa Fado is raw and visceral, reflecting the grit and hardiness of the city’s waterfront. The singer’s voice cracks with emotion, and the music pulsates with a hidden fire, a testament to the city’s vibrant spirit even in the face of hardship.
  • Coimbra Fado, from the student city of Coimbra, is more introspective and romantic. Its melodies are gentler, often accompanied by the soft plucking of the guitarra portuguesa, a smaller classical guitar. Coimbra Fado delves into themes of love, loss, and the yearning for a brighter future.

Whether it’s the mournful lament of a Lisbon street singer or the wistful serenades of Coimbra, Fado is more than just music; it’s a cultural expression, a window into the Portuguese soul. It’s the sound of a people who have faced hardship with grace, finding beauty in the bittersweet tapestry of life. So, if you ever hear the haunting melodies of Fado, stop and listen. You might just find yourself transported to the cobbled streets of Lisbon, or the romantic banks of the Mondego River, experiencing a piece of Portugal’s rich and vibrant heart.tunesharemore_vertadd_photo_alternate

fado portuguese guitar Leitao New York