Le Marquis (Portugal)
Out and about Faro has no shortage of restaurants but sometimes it is a good idea to get out and about, if you are able to, especially in the evenings, leave the town behind and drive out into the hills. About two kilometres from Santa Bárbara de Nexe, in a village called Monte da Palhagueira, there is a very sophisticated ... restaurant, popular with many tourists called Le Marquis. The location is stunning if a little difficult to find with it being a small village in the middle of nowhere and only a long, rocky, winding trail to get you there. The road is dusty during the high season so my advice is to drive with your windows closed or else you will step out of the car, covered in a fine layer of orange sand.
Firstly, the building itself is worth a mention; a delightful farmhouse/quinta that is part of a convent and chapel complex built in the 17th century. It has been renovated with love and care and the owners have kept some of the original features. In lots of ways the interior reminds me of a superior bed & breakfast in the English Lake District. The décor is homely and very cottagey with tied back floral curtains covering the shuttered windows. The floor has brick tiles; tables are of highly polished wood, circular and can either sit 4 or six people. There are some square tables too that can be pushed together for large parties. The walls have been roughly plastered and painted white with pretty wall lamps casting mellow rays upon the tables and floor. Upon the walls are paintings, some in black and white, some sepia and many farm utensils giving the dining area a rural feel. To the right of the restaurant there is a lounge area where you can enjoy a drink before eating. This is very cosy, and feels very English with an assortment of armchairs of different sizes and made from various country type materials, a dark oak dresser, antique sofa with pretty white silk cushions and a coffee table with a 3 candle candelabra.
Although the interior is very nice the evening we visited we chose to sit outside mainly because I always prefer to be in the fresh air if I get the opportunity and I wanted to look at the traditional Portuguese lamps shaped like white chimneys that you see dotted all over the Algarve. The patio is very attractive and shaded with trees and shrubs. The garden/patio furniture is high quality and comfortable with cushions and parasols to keep out the sun. Other highlights are the blue and white tiled benches and small arched windows filled with geraniums.
I thought the tables were set in an attractive way, simply but very effective with white linen cloths, porcelain dishes and stylish wine glasses that were not too large. I don't like big fat wine glasses with long stems; I am always worried about knocking them over. I much prefer the short, stocky types, filled to the top. On all tables there was a single white vase containing one carnation and a bit of greenery.
Now on to the menus and choosing something to eat - a tricky one for me as there was just too much choice. The menu entitled Dinner has two set menus, one with a starter and main meal for 23.95 Euros and the other menu has any choice of dessert from the dessert menu added on which costs an extra 6 Euros. There is also a menu of special dishes including starters and mains and each dish is priced individually. Looking at this one I liked the sound of the rack of lamb and I was tempted by the giant prawn curry served with rice and mango chutney but seeing that I have had very few delicious curries in Portugal, I passed, so on with perusing the multiple course tasting menu. Did we really want to pay 44.95 each for a meal even if they did have some exotic starters and grand desserts? No, we didn't and to be honest I didn't think the selection of main meals was anything out of the ordinary with only the choice of cod or venison. I much preferred the meals on the set Dinner Menu and this is the one we went with. The lady at the front of the house did say that we could mix and match our meals and didn't have to stick to one set menu so we did exactly that regarding the main meals. She also said that the menus change regularly as they like to reinvent new exciting dishes.
For starters we chose the fish soup (Bouillabaisse) and mackerel served on a bed of potato salad. My husband loved the fish soup filled with so many fresh pink prawns, salmon and flaky white fish. It came with a small bowl of croutons. He said it was filling and more like a fish stew than soup, there was a hint of aniseed which he thought came from Pernod or some other aniseed liqueur. I also tasted aniseed in my vinaigrette dressing which had been drizzled over the mackerel. The potato salad was very yummy consisting of big chunks of potato, red pepper and black olives, the consistency was thick with chopped coriander sprinkled on the top and the overall taste was of hot spice from the bird's eye chilli (Piri-piri).
For mains I decided to go back to the rack of lamb from the Specials menu and my husband chose Crispy duck breast also from the Specials menu which came with a vegetable spring roll served on a bed of rice topped with an orange and Hoy sin sauce. My lamb was good and I loved the mashed minty potatoes it came with. The portion size was just perfect for me but my husband struggled a bit with the size of his meal. He enjoyed the duck which wasn't too fatty and slightly pink as it had been cooked rare; he said the spring roll was bursting with julienne vegetables and the sauce was extremely citrusy and tasted homemade rather than from out of a bottle. All in all we were both impressed with the standard of cuisine and decided to look at the dessert menu for an extra treat.
All desserts are homemade, as soon as my husband spotted apple pie with custard and cream his eyes nearly popped out, he loves apple pie even though he shouldn't eat such things. I went for something a bit different, a fruit strudel served with piri-piri ice cream with a dashing of homemade lemon curd. Yes, I do love my piri-piri and although I thought this was a bit odd adding chilli to ice cream it is only a minute amount just to give the ice cream an extra kick. I'm not sure about the lemon curd though, I think I prefer that on white bread alone.
Just in case you haven't noticed I haven't mentioned drinks, for once we didn't have a beer each but decided to try the house red wine which was very pleasant. I usually find that you pay over the top for fancy wines from the list and house wine is always palatable and acceptable in most Portuguese restaurants.
Vegetarians are catered for and Le Marquis does have a special vegetarian menu. Only snag is - meals have to be ordered 24 hours before which is a bit tricky if you are a vegetarian and call in on the off chance. Don't hold me to this but I am sure if this was the case the chef would rustle something up rather than turn anyone away. The owners are very friendly people and do their best to serve everyone as quick as possible. When you enter the restaurant they shake hands and have a chat with you, we were made to feel very welcome.
After all the swapping and changing of menus we did spend more than we wanted which was between 80 and 85 euros so we could have chosen from the Table d'hôte menu. Le Marquis is definitely more expensive than other restaurants in the Faro area but I was pleased with the food and ambiance so didn't mind paying more on this occasion.
Other things that I think you may need to know:
The ladies toilets are very cosy, well decorated and clean. I can't vouch for the Gents as my husband didn't make a visit.
There is a 2 course lunch menu, costs 15 Euros per person and consists of a starter, main dish and dessert, glass of wine and coffee/tea to finish. Lunches are served from Wednesday to Saturday, 12 - 15.00 hours, Sunday from 12 - 1600 hours.
Dinner/evening meals are served from Wednesday to Saturday from 17.00 hours to 21.30 hours.
Reservations can be made by telephone - +351 289 992 018
Parking space is available.
Obviously if you don't have your own transport then Le Marquis is going to be difficult to access. On the other hand taxis are reasonably cheap in the Algarve and not out of the question if you share with friends and split the cost.
My Recommendation and rating
Yes, I do recommend Le Marquis and I give the restaurant 4 stars.
* There are other versions of this review on other sites.*
Read the complete review
Restaurant Adega Nova
The Adega Nova is a restaurant I found recently on a trip to the Algarve with my mother and her friend. It is located very close to Faro railway station, about a couple of minutes' walk away. We had caught a train from Lagos which is a bit of a slow journey and decided that before we headed off to look at the town we would have a bite to ... eat first.
From the outside the Adega looks bright and cheerful and very inviting. Inside the restaurant has the appearance of an old tavern with lots of jugs and artifacts hanging from the ceiling, old oak barrels and lots of antique wine bottles. The restaurant has two floors, the top floor looking a lot more rustic than the bottom one. There is a wooden balustrade edging the top floor, this is well made and very attractive with vines trailing. The lighting here is very good, much softer than in a lot of Portuguese restaurants. I like all the knick-knacks like old gramophones, signs and clocks. Hanging in the lower area are bunches of plastic grapes, they are spread out at intervals to give the impression of being on the vine and droop all along the serving counter.
It was busy when we arrived but we managed to tuck our knees into a table on the top floor. With it being a very hot day we decided to first order some mineral water and then later ordered three beers. Service wasn't exactly express but it wasn't too bad, we had time to study the menu properly. When the waiter arrived with our drinks we ordered three main meals, all different. I chose the giant prawn and monkfish kebab, my mother chose the beef in pepper sauce and her friend chose the salmon steak. She was going to choose the steak on the stone but thought the cooking procedure would take too long and be messy.
We had quite a long wait before our meals arrived but to be fair the restaurant was very busy and all the waiters and bar staff were working very hard. It was very hot in the Adega, not sure why. Perhaps the air conditioning wasn't working. Eventually, the food arrived and I could see the young waiter looked perplexed and somewhat harassed. He did apologise for the long wait. We sat and stared at all of the meals, the portions were enormous and I thought I wouldn't eat my entire giant-sized kebab but I managed to. Let's discuss the kebab first. The prawns were delicious and the chef didn't skimp, there were at least 6 big fat juicy pink prawns interwoven with the same amount of fleshy pieces of monkfish and sliced grilled green pepper. The monkfish was tasty and not too fatty which it can be some times. I loved the taste of the green pepper, very soft and not burnt at all. The kebab came with a plate of chips and a side salad. 10/10 for this kebab.
My mother chose a beef steak in pepper sauce. On the plate there seemed a lot of food and the sauce which had mushrooms in it covered all the steak and most of the chips and rice. I always think it is odd to offer chips and rice and have only seen this in Portuguese restaurants. I didn't think this dish looked attractive as it was too pasty looking with the amount of sauce floating everywhere. My mother said the sauce was very creamy and spicy, she wasn't too happy with the beef steak as she said it didn't taste like steak and was tough. All the same she managed to eat it and the chips too. Her marks were 6/10.
Again, the salmon steak looked enormous served on a large white plate with a side salad, boiled potatoes and garnished with a slice of orange. My mother's friend didn't manage to eat all of her meal as there was too much. The salmon was a little dried out so she asked for olive oil and drizzled a little over the top of the flesh. This helped. I could see that the four boiled potatoes weren't at their best and they too looked dry. Usually boiled potatoes in most Portuguese restaurants are delicious, soft and sweet. The marks for this dish were also 6/10.
No sooner had we finished eating the waiter arrived to take away plates and wipe down the table ready for the next customers to come along but we weren't ready to go. My mother and her friend wanted to look at the dessert menu. We asked to see the menu again and waited, and waited. The menu never came and seeing that 30 minutes had passed we had had enough of waiting and had gone off the idea of ordering a dessert so instead we caught the waiter's eye and asked for the bill.
Summing up I would say that the Adega Nova is an attractive tavern type restaurant with a very busy atmosphere. Dishes on offer are interesting, portions are large but some dishes have been overcooked. The staff are rushed off their feet so at times aren't as polite as they could be and forgetful. I still recommend this restaurant because I think for the amount of food you get the price is very cheap. You are looking at 10-15 Euros per dish.
Read the complete review
Mandra Tavern (Cyprus)
~~LIKE TWO LOST SHEEP WE STUMBLED UPON THE MANDRA~~ One evening towards the end of our last holiday in Cyprus myself and my husband had been doing a little evening shopping around the harbour area of Paphos. We had intended to return to our hotel well in time for dinner but must have taken longer than we intended as my ... husband, looking at the time on his mobile phone, commented that it was going to be touch and go whether we would make it back to our hotel before the restaurant had closed for the evening, and so we needed to find a taxi very quickly. The journey from the harbour to our hotel was one of only about ten minutes in duration. We have been to Paphos and walked around the harbour many times and thought we knew our way around well but on this occasion we were both very hot and weary. We felt that it was too far to walk back to the taxi rank which is situated near to the bus depot by the harbour, and we both thought we knew where to find taxis in the side streets, but alas, we were mistaken and got a bit lost. We did know which direction to go in but couldn't find the actual street where we knew we could find a taxi. By now my husband, after again looking his mobile phone and tut-tutting, said we would now definitely be too late for dinner at our hotel and so we should perhaps look for somewhere to eat around this area. Well, I told him that by now I was desperate for the loo and so we needed to find somewhere quickly. There were a couple of pubs close by but they were on more than one level and by this time I was desperate to powder my nose and certainly didn't want to trek up flights of stairs to get to a loo. We spotted a restaurant that looked very interesting and what was even more appealing to me by now was the fact that it was on the ground level and therefore looked the easiest choice which was just what these two weary travellers needed.
It was nice to come across somewhere we hadn't tried before and so we walked over to the entrance. In truth neither of us was exactly starving but we were peckish; as it was a long while since lunch we knew we would be hungry later if we didn't have something to eat while we were out. I think it was the manager who greeted us and, as the restaurant wasn't full, he asked us where we wanted to sit. I was tempted to say the loo would be nice but resisted and instead asked for somewhere cool, in the true sense of the word. We were shown to a table which benefited from the cool air blown from a ceiling fan. This table was also near to the indoor pond type feature (equipped with fish and a wishing well type feature) which helped to make us feel refreshed.
Now before I go further with this review I must tell you about the ambience of this restaurant as I think this is its main selling point. It really does look authentic and has the character and a real authentic Greek-Cypriot feel.
The floor is of flagged stone and feels a bit uneven in places but this is all part of the character of the place; it looks good and feels cool.
The exterior walls are of stone and so is much of the roof. The natural authentic Cypriot look is achieved with the use of old looking woods blending with stone and greenery, mainly in the form of palm trees. This restaurant feels open and much of it is, having only a low wall to the frontage. When gazing inside from the road outside of an evening it looks bright and welcoming.
We both felt that this restaurant was a delight in terms of its character and was worth visiting for this alone.
~~A FEW FACTS~~
"Established in 1979, MANDRA TAVERN is one of the oldest and best traditional taverns in Kato Paphos.
The name "Mandra" is the Greek word for a livestock enclosure.
A "Mandra" built with natural stone was used to protect livestock from weather conditions, to store dairy products and sometimes for the shepherds to sleep in.
This tavern used to be one such place. Its basic character has been retained. Only a few additions and alterations have been made and this only so that guests enjoy their traditionally prepared meals in a comfortable and pleasant environment."
There were plenty of these and some good and varied choices. I always think dips make nice starters and these were in evidence as well as Cypriot cheeses, grilled meats, Dolmades, salads, garlic mushrooms, soups and even more...
We shared some olives in a garlic dressing and this was very tasty indeed.
The menu here is certainly extensive and interesting and I think it was a shame that we were too weary to do it justice. As neither of us was very hungry I'm afraid we were rather boring and both ordered a main course of moussaka, only my husband had meat moussaka and I chose the vegetarian version. Both were served with a side salad. Mine cost Euro14.00 and my husbands was Euro15.50. My husband had ordered some local bread with his meal.
We both thought that our meals were of a very good quality and tasted nice yet we both felt that we were too quick to choose and perhaps didn't make the best choice. My husband said that the meat was tender and the topping of his moussaka was nice.
My moussaka was also of a good quality and was nicely cooked and it contained tasty vegetables inside it that I enjoy such as aubergine and marrow and finally it was topped with a béchamel sauce. I did enjoy this meal and found it quite filling. I do think that had we not been so hut and weary then we would both have taken more time to peruse the menu and then there were probably better choices to be had and I believe I may well have preferred certain dishes.
If we go back to this restaurant then I would be more adventurous and make sure that I had a larger appetite on my visit. Perhaps I will try the specialities (of the non-meat choices though!) of The Mandra which are said to be, "Meze and Fish Meze, as well as the Sizzling Steaks and Spare Ribs." The Meze is a five course meal for two or more diners.
But I will admit that I was a bit worried when seeing on the menu that whole baby piglets are a culinary choice available for two people. As a pescetarian I know if someone seated at a nearby table had a complete piglet to pick apart I could not stay without being ill. Fortunately at the time when we were dining at the Mandra the restaurant was fairly quiet and diners seemed to be either finishing their meals or from what I could see were being served with the more usual type of meal, or at least normal to me.
The Mandra is known for its local dishes and the aromas coming from the kitchen were really rather enticing and seemed to be mainly of grilled steaks and fish and a little more than just a hint of garlic.
Sirloin steak could be ordered for Euro18.00 with a choice of sauces (Creamy Pepper, Creamy Mushroom, Red Wine & Mushroom, garlic, Rossini) for Euro2.50.
The usual Greek/Cypriot fare was available such as: Stifado (fried meat balls), Afelia (Cubes of beef with onions, cooked in red wine and herbs, Dolmades, Souvlakia (Small pieces of pork cooked on skewers), Ortykia (Grilled quails), as well as steaks, chicken dishes, pork chops.
There were plenty of fish choices such as: prawns, swordfish, calamari, salmon, scampi and sea bream.
Vegetarian choices at The Mandra were: cold and hot platters, moussaka, Vegetarian pitta filled with various mixes of vegetable such as of potato, aubergine, marrows etc., and Portobello mushrooms served with olive oil and lemon dressing.
I don't often partake of desserts as have more of a savoury tooth and also find that after one course I usually feel that I have eaten enough and prefer not to over eat and then be uncomfortable for the rest of the evening. In fact I don't really eat too much anyway in hot climates and find I can struggle to finish a course more often than I would in England but there's no harm in this I'm sure. My husband is the same and if we do have more than one course then we are more likely to choose a starter and a main course rather than a main and dessert. But if you do have a sweet tooth here is an idea of what is on offer:
Cheesecake, Apple pie served with cream or ice cream, lemon sorbet, Baklava and cream, yoghurt and honey. Desserts range in price from Euro 4.70 to Euro 5.55.
We both were very parched and so decided to quench our thirst with long cold drinks. My husband chose a local beer (Keo) and I chose a Keo with lemonade (shandy to the British). Actually I was understood here and was served with one glass of beer mixed with lemonade rather than (as often happens abroad) a glass of beer and another of lemonade.
A varied selection of wines could be seen on the wine list such as Mandra house red or white by the bottle (Euro17.00), and local wines by the glass, carafe, half carafe (Euro7.00), along with rosé, Retsina, Chardonnay, and more.
Both local and international beers and spirits are available. Internationa bottled beers include
Carlsberg, Budweiser, Heineken, Corona and Boddingtons. Some might be pleased to partake of ciders including Woodpecker, Strongbow and Millers.
Local and international brands of spirits are to be found in the Mandra's bar.
We didn't have coffee as although we had cooled down somewhat it was still a very hot night and too hot for us to feel like drinking coffee. We decided to forego the coffee or tea and instead get back to our hotel where we could enjoy a drink or two sitting outside on the terrace and follow this with a bedtime drink of hot chocolate. But for coffee lovers I thought that the Mandra Tavern serves a good variety. There is Cappuccino, Espresso, Irish coffee, Russian coffee, and many more variations of course also including Cypriot coffee, and good old Nescafé, as well as tea.
The service was good and I almost always find this is the case in Cyprus restaurants and bars. After being shown to our table we were quickly supplied with menus and asked would we like a drink while we looked at the menu? We certainly needed a drink by this time and so ordered our drinks without really needing the menu. Drinks were quickly brought to our table and were soon ready to order our meals.
The food came in a good time and I would say that we were served in about thirty minutes or perhaps even a little less. I do know that the timing was perfect as we had time to have a drink and admire our pleasant surroundings.
We spoke to the manager and were surprised that he knew the area of London where my husband had grown up and sampled his first Greek meal. The manager had run a restaurant in this area but had decided some years ago to return to his native Cyprus to run his own restaurant on this island.
The Ladies were my first port of call so to speak and I found these to be clean and decent. My husband said the same was true of the Gents. Toilets can sometimes be a downside of some Cypriot bars and restaurants but I thought that the Mandra Tavern did quite well in this respect.
I really cannot remember if the toilets here were disabled friendly or not so would advise first contacting the Mandra before visiting. The restaurant is on ground level but has slightly different heights for seating areas. The entrance at the front of the Mandra is level and I would say fairly easy to access. The floor is uneven in places due to it being of stone but I would think it is manageable with some care.
We both loved the surroundings here and we agreed it had been worth choosing to dine at this restaurant for its character alone. I am off to Cyprus again very soon and would like to return to the Mandra but as I have already mentioned I could find it an ordeal if complete piglets are brought out on steaming platters. I suppose the meat menu at this tavern is very appealing to conscience-free carnivores but for squeamish me this could well prove to be its downside.
I thought the tables were comfortable with enough room between diners to make the experience pleasant, although the restaurant was not full when we dined here so there was a good feeling of space and privacy. The table linen, cutlery and tableware all looked very clean and inviting.
I believe most diners would appreciate the Mandra Tavern very much and would enjoy dining here.
By the time we left this restaurant we had got our bearings and realised that we only had to walk a short distance to come across waiting taxis. We could have asked the staff to call us a taxi but decided that we would rather walk the few paces to procure our own.
Address: Mandra Tavern
4, Dionysou Street
Telephone: +357 26 934129
Monday - Sunday 17:30 - 23:00
Friday hours 18:00-23:00
Read the complete review
Restaurant International /
Indian. 3 Shar'a Gameat al-Dowal al-Arabiya, Mohandiseen, Cairo,
Tel: +20 2 303 0615
Vegetarian. 5 Shar'a Sayed al-Bakry, Zamalek, Cairo,
Tel: +20 2 340 6550
French. 4 Shar'a Hassan Sabri, Zamalek, Cairo
Tel: +20 2 341 2961
Restaurant International /
Address: 1 Hauz Khas Village / Restaurant International / Delhi
Address: Bahnhofstraße 25 / Restaurant International / 28195 / Bremen
Address: City God Temple District / Restaurant International / Nanxiang
Address: Jagiellonska 2 / Restaurant International / 34-500 / Zakopane
Address: M. Konopnickiej 11 / Restaurant International /1
|Restaurant International recommendations 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... back next|
|dooyoo Results 51 - 60 of 3716|