Rosa: A quick stop
This little cafe was just a quick stop for a pastry and a cafe con leite. It has a laid back atmosphere and a good selection of pastries to choose from. It's actually fairly big inside and opens up to the streets on either side. We just stopped by for about twenty minutes to rest our feet and watch the soccer highlights that were playing on the television inside.
Favorite Dish: Sometimes you just need a good cup of coffee!
Beira Rio: What a fantastic octopus - U
excellent and nice staff, sober but pleasant decoration, cloth napkins (!), card list with clarifying text of local monuments (fantastic) and an excellent food
Favorite Dish: octopus called "lagareiro" and for the kids we have asked a chicken called "pucara" both are fantastic !!
but octopus is brilliant
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Bela Vista Restaurante
Bela Vista Restaurante in Tomar
Sit outside on the terrace, underneath the flowers, overlooking the greensward of the river. It's heavenly, particularly with the mighty monastery looking down upon you.
Favorite Dish: The menu includes soup, salad, bread, grilled trout, wine, coffee, and dessert for US$7.50. And all of it melts in your mouth. Best meal in best atmosphere for best value that I've ever had, anywhere.
Grão Mestre (Hotel dos Templarios): Tempting menu, disappointing food
Finding that the majority of restaurants in Tomar had almost identical menus we decided to check out Grão Mestre, the restaurant inside the four star Hotel dos Templarios on the edge of the Nabão River, just for something a bit different. The menu looked very tempting with a wide variety of fish, seafood and meats. The decor was nice, the service was pleasant, but the food? I think this was a case of an inexperienced chef trying a bit too hard to be fancy, missing the mark with flavour combinations and overcooking nearly everything.
We began with two appetizers: a tomato and melon gazpacho and shrimp with pineapple. The gazpacho was well presented and it was refreshing at first, but with each taste came an increasing flavour of basil until all that was left was this overpowering flavour, not to mention a heap of basil leaves. It was impossible to finish the soup for this reason. The shrimp was okay, it played nicely with the pineapple, although it was a touch overcooked and swimming in juices.
For the main course we had steamed salmon with fruit and a duck confit. The salmon was not pretty to look at, although it was rather colourful. The sauce was a thick, opaque lavender colour with absolutely no flavour at all. If not for the blackberry seeds, I might never have known it was a fruit sauce at all and between the seeds and the bones in the salmon, it wasn't pleasant to eat. The salmon itself was so dry that I couldn't help but think that rather than steamed it had been poaching in hot water for more than an hour. My husband didn't mind the duck, but didn't particularly feel that the prunes complimented it. Also, the vegetables were so overcooked that they turned to mush the moment you stuck your fork in. Dessert was tiramisu, factory made and out of the freezer. It hadn't completely thawed by the time it was served. All in all, this was not only the most disappointing meal we ate in Tomar, but I seriously can't even recall the last time I had a meal this bad.
Favorite Dish: The complimentary bread and amuse-bouche (mussel gratin).
- Food and Dining
Beira Rio: Good Portuguese home cooking
Beira Rio seemed like a little family-owned operation. The decor was modest, perhaps a little outdated, but cozy and clean. The menu was fairly typical of small Portuguese restaurants and the only wait staff was an older women who was pleasant and efficient. Even when the restaurant began to hop around 1:00pm, she never lost a beat and we didn't have to wait long for any dish. Bread and olives were placed on the table. These are not complimentary and will show up on your bill if you eat them, but the cost is minimal. The bread basket was a mix of fresh rolls and slices of toasts. The olives were addictive. They struck me as home-marinated since the rosemary and garlic were obvious, and enhanced the flavour. Delicious.
We had two dishes: secretos de porco (black pork) served with rice and black beans and entremeada (pork belly) served with french fries and migas (green cabbage, bean and bread salad). In both cases the pork was barbecued, tender, well seasoned and delicious. The black pork is a specialty here in Portugal, particularly in the south. It is a marbled pork, which makes it very tender and juicy and at this restaurant it was seasoned with garlic and salt.
There isn't much else to say other than it was a home-style meal and all around tasty. The total cost, with three colas, two espressos and a chocolate mousse dessert, was less than €20,00 for two.
Favorite Dish: Loved everything we had.
- Food and Dining
Restaurants of Tomar
In the City:
- Bela Vista, Tel: 249312870 - Nice restaurant, with great views, an esplanade and in the city centre. The old house is a highlight in itself. The food is just ok and the wines are local. Food highlights fish stew (caldeirada), monkfish rice, fish fillets, roasted lamb, black pig steaks. Average price 14€
- Alminhas - In the street of the synagogue is a new restaurant with great food, from grilled meat, cold melon soup, chocolate and chili tart, cheesecake, amongst others. Average price 15€
- Casa das Ratas - Nice restaurant with plates such as Duck rice, dessert of the house or drunken pears in a rustic atmosphere. Average price: 14€
Outside the City:
- A Luria, Located in Portela, Tel: 249381402 - Means rabbit hole and opened in the 80's. Serves dishes such as mushrooms of the region (in the season), shad Açorda, Octopus in the oven with breadcrumbs, pork kebabs with shrimps, Mirandela meat steak. Average price 20€.
- Chico Elias - A famous place in the region known by the different plates it provides. From snails bean stew, small fish in the oven, cod in the oven with pork meat, rabbit with pumpkin and home made bread. The wood oven gives to the food that special taste. Average price 30€.
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