A FRIEND recommended a restaurant in the village of Ulgueira recently, not far from Cabo do Roca, the most westerly point of Europe, so, as I was in the vicinity, I decided to give it a try. It was lunch time on a Wednesday, the weather had turned a little cooler, so it was a pleasant surprise to see a log burning fire in action. I could well imagine how cosy the Palmeira restaurant must be at night.
My order was taken quite quickly from a more than mouthwatering choice on the menu, while I was left to ponder over the excellent olives, Serra da Estrela cheese and grilled slices of sausage. At lunch times there is a special dish of the day, including bread, olives, a drink and coffee all for less than seven euros. There was also the choice of chef’s specials. I was tempted to try the hot Buffalo Mozzarella wrapped in bacon, oven-grilled and served with toast. But for the differing taste buds there is a good selection of Indian food available including, Korma, Madras, Bhuna, Tikka Biryani and a good vegetarian dish, all of which must be ordered the day before.
In the end I chose the steak tournedos with mushroom sauce (naughty but nice), which was so succulent it almost fell apart. Obviously the patron frequents a good butcher! The traditional dish that the restaurant has long been known for, bacalhau com natas, was served at the next table and it smelt divine. I asked about Sunday specials and was told that throughout the winter period, Cozido á Portuguesa would be on offer.
I checked the wine list, which had a good selection of regional wines and was pleased to see some local Colares wines on the list.
When the bill came I was amazed at how reasonable it was and have put this on my list of ‘places to visit’ with my wife (she loves a good Indian meal). Palmeira is 50 metres from the church in Ulgueira and is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 10.30pm. For reservations telephone the owner, Ketan, on 219 290 896 or just drop in. Don’t forget to tell him that you read about Palmeira in The Resident – not that it will make any difference to the service though – it was excellent.