I've just got back from a holiday in the Algarve. Ate out in some fab and not so fab restaurants while I was there...
1. 1st place has to go to the restaurant above the fish market in Lagos. When you sit down they come up to the table with a tray of fresh fish from the market that day, and ask you which you would like, of course all the fish has been caught in the last 24 hrs and is regional and seasonal. We shared a whole golden bream. It was cooked really simply, charcoal grilled with olive oil and herbs and lemon, served with salad, steamed vegetables and potatoes. It had to be the best fish I have ever tasted, and total proof that with really fresh produce, it doesnt need any fancy flavours or sauces... The service was really friendly too, and by the look of it they had good facilities for kids too, though we were on a night release from childcare so didnt have to test it out for ourselves
2. We went for a birthday meal to La Fortaleza in Luz. We sat in their terrace overlooking the beach. There were 8 of us for lunch including Baby Frog. We started with some really delicious olives and warm bread, then for main courses I had the Iberian black pig, which was again cooked really simply, charcoal grilled, and Mr Frog had John Dory. The lamb casserole also looked delicious, cooked a long time until the meat was really tender and the juices were all dark and syrupy. There was also enought to feed three people in one portion!
3. The Lime Tree, Luz. This restaurant was brit run I think. The food was really good, but too rich really for a holiday environment, and quite expensive by portuguese standards. I ate the Chicken au poivre. The two elelements were seperately well done but really didnt go together too well.
4. The Dolphin, Luz. The service here wasnt great, The had no highchairs. It is a South African- Prtuguese restaurant. I had the Fillet steak. The steak was really tender, but the chips tasted as if they were out of a packet, and both meals were served with a sweet potato mash which was really heavy, and a disgusting green bean puree which didnt go with the other food at all.