Rute and Rogério are a couple with a vision born of travel, a love of food and the finer things in life. They have brought their combined love of gastronomy, style and cuisine to, what would seem, a most unusual spot in Lagoa. However, once you arrive at their beautiful, modern bistro, you’ll begin to understand their logic.
With great natural light and a surprising amount of passing trade, the location is perfect for both the professional lunch trade and locals who like a more relaxed dining experience. They’ve brought in chairs from France and lighting from the United States, but most of the furnishings are handmade or bought here in Portugal.
You’ll find an excellent variety of menus to choose from, all crafted by chef Joaquim Raimundo, a former culinary lecturer at Escola de Hotelaria e Turismo do Algarve, fivestar resort chef and published culinary author. Offering a vast range of dining options, from light tapas-style dishes, a quick one-course lunch or a full dining experience with wine pairing, it’s easy to accommodate everyone, and chef Raimundo understands his ingredients, so people with dietary restrictions will feel right at home too. The wine list is excellent and features a fabulous selection of Portuguese wines, featuring predominately Algarvean labels that have all been selected to match the menu.
The focus is always on fresh, quality and, wherever possible, local produce. The recipes are fundamentally Portuguese but with a modern culinary twist, updated to make them fit right in with the visual style of the restaurant. The name comes from two somewhat basic Portuguese dishes that although not particularly glamorous, represent authenticity and nutritious values that flow here. There are sharing platters filled with delectable bites, rich soups, finely seasoned and seared tuna, mountain sausage bonbons and Portuguese cheeses to start.
The lunch menu always has a fresh fish, and meat course that changes daily, in addition to the full menu, which is a bonus if you’re a regular and are short on time. Lighter dishes include fresh, crisp lettuce and smoked chicken with pickled vegetables and a barley dish with vegetables. For the carnivores, there’s a juicy Black Angus burger and veal to compliment the lunch choices. Guests with a sweet tooth won’t be disappointed as there’s a good selection of exciting and authentic deserts. The evening menu has big, bold flavours and some old-fashioned flashbacks that are a joy to see on a modern menu.
As everything is seasonal, it’s fair to say that the opening menu will not be around forever, but while it is, you should make an effort to try the partridge and chestnuts and the wild boar with lemon and thyme migas. They also have some fish dishes that are only available at 24-hours notice like the beautiful scarlet shrimp and wild seabass. Book your table to avoid disappointment and try this taste of Portugal. Current opening hours are from 12pm to 10pm Tuesday to Saturday. Closed on Mondays and Sundays for dinner.