Named after literature written by the Brazilian Hilda Histh, about a character, Maria Mata Mouro felt pleasure in what she ate. (I think I've got this right, correct me if I'm wrong!) This place is a darling little gem in the heart of Pelourinho... the atmosphere is charming and quaint, the back garden seating area is lush and romantic, the service is attentive but not overbearing... we had a lovely dinner here!
The menu is heavily influenced by Italian cuisine but not entirely...
Ask for the table by the trickling fountain in the back.
Favorite Dish: We had prosecco here... several bottles!
The couvert was deeeelicious.... great breads, flat breads & dips.
We had the matarmouro salad & Carpaccio to start- both were presented well and tasted great.
I had Penne ao Pesto for dinner (the ONLY night I didn't have a moqueca of some sort!!!) and Tim had the Burgundy Filet with risotto. We were impressed with both.
Why is it we NEVER have room for dessert when the offerings sound soo incredibly good!??!?!
Maria Mata Mouro edges Uaua for the finest Bahia-style meals I've had in Salvador. It's also twice as expensive.
Four to six tables -- seating anywhere from two to a dozen people -- are located in each of four different areas on the ground floor: (1) the very front, (2) just past the kitchen and bar, (3) in an adjacent open-air section, and (4) under an arbor in the very rear.
The decor is classy and the service is superior.
UPDATE: The travel section of the New York Times, on Sunday, 1 March 2009, highly recommends Mata Mouro for Brazilian and Continental food.
Favorite Dish: I followed the complimentary appetizers with Cod Ambrosia (R$26). The delicately seasoned fish came in a light and flaky crust.
As an entrée I had roast leg of lamb (R$47), nicely spiced and so well prepared it nearly melted in my mouth. The lamb was ringed with three well prepared vegetables.
I also ordered a bottle of Argentine Syrah (R$46); and my waiter made a point of telling me service was not included. Total tab: R$140 (US$49).
In one of the best streets of Pelourinho (in case I didn't mention, Gregorio de Mattos, Ignacio Accioli, Laranjeiras and Dos Artistas), Maria Mata Mouro is a restaurant with both food and service of the best quality! The portions are HUGE, the cook is tremendously competent (ask for him, ask for Alirio and tell him Marina recommended) and the deco is mesmerizing. A bit more expensive than the normal restaurants, you won't even feel it in your foireign pocket since now our currency is so weak. And your stomach will definetely NOT regret! Was recently elected by one of the most important brazilian magazines (Veja) as the best restaurant in town.
Favorite Dish: Mariscada - a sort of huge soup with seafood, from shrimps to lobster!