Inside Carvoeiro took a tour around the area to find out what’s new on the dining scene
We are blessed with an abundance of excellent eateries in this small part of the Algarve — with more than 100 just in Carvoeiro, we are already spoiled for choice. Inside ventured around over the winter to find some exciting new restaurants that are bound to become local favourites in no time. Here, you’ll find a brief overview from Carvoeiro to Silves for your to-do list.
TOURIGA WINE & DINE
A stunning, stylish new wine and dining venue at the top of restaurant hill, here you’ll find a very comfortable space with tasty, mostly tapas-style treats and a few main dishes. Owner Jorge has been collecting wines for years and has a magnificent selection of Portuguese wines. The front-of-house staff has been rigorously trained and is extremely professional and pleasant, always happy to share their knowledge. There is comfortable seating either inside at the bar, dining area or outside on the terrace.
Formally Piu Grand Cafe and Martins Grill on the main square, Levels will be a beach-side oasis with a mixture of Asian and European décor. A full renovation of the old 1980s building will see massive glass frontage to take total advantage of its highly privileged location. We had a sneak preview, and it looks incredible. The menu will focus on quality, and popular Portuguese grilled dishes will feature heavily. Trained barista staff will be on hand to prepare excellent coffees for visitors, and each of the three levels will offer different experiences. The cherry on the cake is the Sky Bar with cocktails and sharing platters during regular service and private dining for up to 20 guests for special occasions.
BAUSHI SUSHI & BAR
A brand new concept for Carvoeiro, Baushi Sushi & Bar is due to open in the summer in the old Ele & Ela on Rua do Barranco, serving the finest quality sushi and Japanese drinks with special lunch, evening and tasting menus. Patricia, a trained sushi chef, will be working her magic in the kitchen and Ivo, previously from Inside Cocktail bar, will be putting his years of mixology to good use, creating fabulous Japanese-inspired cocktails.
GASPACHO & MIGAS
There’s a significant regeneration going on in Lagoa, and this city bistro-style eatery is creating quite the storm in the usually sleepy town. You’ll find this lovely place between the Council building and the healthcare centre (centro de saúde). With a bold and stylish décor with dark accents and bright lighting inside, there is also an airy covered terrace, perfect for watching the world go by. The menus are varied and bring a lot of older and sometimes forgotten Portuguese produce into their modern dishes. The restaurant boasts high-quality ingredients, friendly service and comfortable surrounding and lunchtime specials, a lighter menu and a full evening menu offer something for everyone. To top it all off, the wine list features mostly local labels and is well paired.
O Cais is run by owners Nuno and Zane, who returned from Ireland to create their dream restaurant by the river and the municipal market. Traditionally clad walls, stylish furnishings and fixtures with some modern touches blend in well in this ancient building, complete with an internal well. Nuno is passionate about meats, and the selection is good with a delicious venison steak to complement the otherwise beef-centric main courses. The starters are varied and rich with a good variety of fish and cheese dishes, and Zane makes great desserts.
On the main pedestrian street of Silves, you’ll find a gorgeous Moroccan patio, straight out of a riad. The menu features tagines, couscous dishes, moussaka, charcoal-grilled kebabs, koftas, falafels and hummus. The perfect place to enjoy some calm moments and eastern treats, the restaurant’s décor is bright and perfectly in keeping with the city’s Moorish past.
Another surprise in the usually traditional and sleepy Silves is this Mediterranean-inspired café/restaurant/lounge bar. An industrial loft space meets a large dining venue, perhaps more something that you would expect to find in an urban city. The menu leans more towards the Italian side, with pasta, pizzas and grilled dishes, although they do have some Portuguese dishes. They offer a pleasant two-course lunch menu for €12.50, including a drink. Live music and events also take place during the season.
Up a side street from the river heading to the pedestrian street lays this little vegan and vegetarian restaurant. Generally open during the day, Al-Gosto serves a vegan/veggie lunch buffet and an à la carte menu, with everything made on site. Homemade drinks and cakes are a big favourite here too, and there’s always find a fresh new creation coming out of the kitchen.
With Venezuelan chef Jimmy Cruz still at the pass, the changes here are more with a new menu and a facelift in the dining areas. The new menu features a great mixed tapas sharing platter, octopus carpaccio, big salads, a juicy surf and turf and fish dishes with the chef’s signature flair along with a selection of vegetarian options. They will be opening from 10am for coffee and pastries then serving food throughout the day. Watch out for their fun theme nights and lots of new additions along the way.
At the time of going to print, there were more new places that, unfortunately, we couldn’t feature as they were in various stages of building work and/or finalising names. Watch out for Chef Antonio’s opening under new management, which promises be an exciting addition, according to the new owners. Ele & Ela are in the midst of finalising their new venue — keep an eye on Chef’s Kitchen Facebook page for information on that. Chef Raquel Marques left O Rafaiol restaurant and has opened The Square in Monte Carvoeiro. This fine-dining venue has modern décor, a large terrace and a great menu. O Rafaiol has reverted to the original management of the owners Osvaldo and Peggy, who have opened again and will return to their more traditional style of dining. Luisa’s Place in Sesmarias is changing management and will now be run by Harry who you may know from years ago in Happy’s and Carvoeiro Bar. In Ferragudo, Kitty and Ton of Amigos catering are opening a cool little spot serving breakfast, lunch, tapas and drinks next to O Canto.