Fresh and sustainable food at Tasca’Lado
Adriana Sequeira and chef João Inácio - “Our menu is designed to minimise waste”

Fresh and sustainable food at Tasca’Lado

A young couple has opened a new eatery in Armação de Pêra which serves “fresh and sustainable food”, tapas and signature cocktails.

It is a “welcoming, dynamic but calm space where people can sit down to enjoy a good meal, without being rushed, and enjoy a totally different experience,” say 26-year-old nurse Adriana Sequeira and 25-year-old chef João Inácio, the couple who opened Tasca’Lado in May.

“I always dreamed about opening my own restaurant,” the chef told Barlavento newspaper. “I started with pastry at 14 but have a passion for everything involved with being in a kitchen.”

The couple’s goal was to open a “pretty space that served tapas and made a difference to Armação de Pêra’s gastronomy scene”.

“Our menu is designed to minimise waste. An ingredient is used for two or three dishes and the products are all fresh and seasonal. Even the restaurant décor is made from recycled materials,” the young chef says.

Fresh and sustainable food at Tasca’Lado

While most restaurants close in the winter in Armação de Pêra, the couple aim to keep Tasca’Lado open all year round because their target market are the locals.

Dishes and tapas are inspired by Portuguese cuisine but are presented “completely differently, with generous portions”.

“I combined my work experience at five-star hotels with this concept of generous portions. We do not use frozen ingredients and all recipes have been developed for years, even our bread. It is something I have been developing for some time to set us apart,” the chef said.

The list of appetizers features mussels, fried shrimps, clams, prawns from the Algarve coast, codfish croquettes with quail egg, veal ‘pica-pau’ (traditional dish with fried pieces of meat), a selection of cheeses and sausages and a goat cheese-filled pastry (known as ‘trouxa’) served with pumpkin jam and walnuts.

Fresh and sustainable food at Tasca’Lado

“Clients can even choose to order several appetizers instead of a main dish,” the chef says.

Those who prefer to stick to one main course can choose from fish, such as razor clam, cockle and shrimp pasta stew; codfish with sweet potato ‘migas’ (bread side dish); and ‘linguini nero’, or meat dishes including pork with potatoes, bacon and chestnuts; a meat board with several cuts of ‘Maronesa’ beef (a Portuguese breed of mountain cattle); rump steak; veal cutlet; and a mix of DOP veal (protected designation of origin).

The dessert menu features lime panna cotta with ‘Oreo sand’, chocolate brownie with vanilla ice-cream and tonka bean crème brûlée.

Apart from the wine list which features mostly Algarve wines, clients can also choose from a selection of sangrias. But the highlights are the cocktails. “All recipes are ours and focused on the seasonality of products. The latest, for example, combines amarguinha (almond liquour), green apple and almond,” the chef says.

Tasca’Lado is open from Tuesday to Friday between 6pm and 11.30pm and on weekends from 12 noon to 3pm and 7pm to 10.30pm. There are 30 indoor and 12 outdoor seats.

Original article written by Maria Simiris for Barlavento newspaper.