Restaurante O Piquinho: Great Views, OK Food
Set in a huge, cavernous restaurant, this place is a fairly new addition to town. As it's up in the hills inland, you really need to get a lift or take a taxi there. Their selling point is certainly the great views that you get over town all the way to the sea. We ate here at night and it was lovely. The setting would almost be romantic if the restaurant itself wasn't so huge and empty that you feel you're eating in an echoing barn. Apparently it never really fills up at any time of year though being fairly new that may change as it establishes itself. And to think I'd worried that we might need a reservation.
Service here is very good, the waiter was really helpful and friendly. Some nice wines. Food is just kind of average, so a slight disappointment. Meal for two will come to between 30 and 40 euros.
Favorite Dish: The menu is actually fairly standard and pedestrian. I'd expected more effort and choice. I went for a safe bet of the mixed grill, hoping that it would be done on the great big grill fire, but it came from the kitchen, with everything fairly 'well' done even though I'd asked for 'rare'. My plate contained some fairly slim pieces of beef, pork, lamb chop and an inedible small sausage. And the usual chips and salad. I'd had one of the best mixed grills ever at El Gordo in Funchal old town a few days before and this was no competition. Lamb casserole was also just OK,came in a decent enough sauce with vegetables.
What you're paying for up here is the fantastic views over Machico which are lovely and I'd be surprised if there is a better vantage point for an evening meal round here. I've no major complaints, just that it's an OK restaurant rather than great. While the service was high standard, they'll need to raise their game with the menu and the quality of the food if they ever want to fill the place or even just get people to make the effort to get up there more than once.
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Restaurante Residencial O Facho: Restaurante Residencial O Facho
A very poor choice this. It's advertised as a Pizzaria, but when we walked in, one look at the pizzas (and accompanying faces of disappointment) at a neighbouring table made me go for some different. We really only tried this place as Machico is relatively small and you do start to run out of options after a few days if you don't want to eat at the same place more than once.
Sitting in the corner nearest the obligatory Portuguese TV, if only because I didn't want to end up looking at it all the way through the meal, we soon had to move as far away as possible. Not only was it really loud but it also had a really annoying whistle. By the end of the meal we both had the beginning of nausea and migraines just from the piercing sound. The two of us could both hear this high pitched noise which lessened further away from the TV but the waiter looked at us as if we were mad or just being fussy. Still, he let us move to a different table.
Not that we saw the waiter much. Service was haphazard, a number of people at different tables ended up having to get up to try and find him. Our food and drink arrived in a decent enough time but the tables afterwards waited an age. Waiter was polite enough but served without a smile, when you finally did get served. About a third of our whole time in there was spent just waiting for the bill to arrive...
There is also a separate cafe/bar area, also with TV that seems popular enough with locals. My advice would be to stick to that section and drink rather than eat there. Or just avoid entirely.
Favorite Dish: I had a tuna steak thinking I couldn't really go wrong. At 9 euro it wasn't so badly priced but it was clear the tuna wasn't that fresh. It came awash with onions in a bland sauce, overboiled vegetables and was missing the fried maize that had been promised on the menu. Omelette came with the usual fries and salad at around 7.50 euros.
I think this place must just trade on it's location in the middle of Machico near the seafront, it really hasn't got much else going for it. Overall, I actually felt this was comparatively overpriced given that for a couple of extra euro you can get much nicer meals at other restaurants in Machico, such as the White Waters across the road, Restaurante O Goncalves or O Casco, both of which are two minutes round the corner
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