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I know Alcaçer do Sal boasts of good places to eat, and I'm happy to confirm that this claim is not unfounded. This restaurant is one among many that line the main street facing the riverbank of Sado, but it stands out by the variety and the selection of Alentejo regional dishes that it offers.
We had come just a little after 1 pm and were just a few minutes short before the place became full. Immediately as you enter you feel the place cosy and homey, with decor and layout strongly indicating a feminine touch, as if you were visiting an aunt's country home. One can see through the partially open counter dividing the kitchen and dining area, all the preparation.
Now, the food. All excellent. Most notable were the entreés of mushrooms in olive oil, and the codfish patties. For the main course, we ordered grouper with clams, with a potato and mushroom mash (called migas, and typical in this region) and also beef (marinated in wine) and fries -- both main dishes perfectly done. The dessert of almond cake and the house red was just okay, but all this was more than made up by the overall quality of food. And I should mention quantity too. The main dishes were too much for one person, we ended up asking them to pack our leftovers -- they were too good to leave behind!
The service was fast and efficient. Having only 3 people in the kitchen and 2 waiting on the tables (all women, too!) all serving 40 people at any one point with very little waiting time speaks a lot for their service.
The meal, including coffee, set us back a bit over 50 euros. Probably a bit more expensive than average, but it was worth it. Perhaps not a place for a formal business lunch or dinner, but it's a great place for friends, couples, and families wanting to enjoy regional dishes with a bit more care and style than the usual, and where the unique flavours of each dish stand out.
Alentejo is a region with great gastronomy, and this restaurant is a great place to try it. This place just made it to my ever-growing list of good restaurants.
Favorite Dish: Entreé: Pataniscas de bacalhau (codfish patty) and mushroom in olive oil
Main dish: Grouper with clams, and beef marinated in wine
Written Dec 29, 2010
Address: Av. Soares Branco, 9-11
Favorite thing: over populated by doves the locals take good care of them as yu can see those lamp posts only for the purpose of building their nests and raise the eggs. at the top of the roofs and churches lots of doves make their nests also. almost like domestic animals.
Written May 2, 2004