On the edge of the Ria Formosa, Restaurant Noélia e Jerónimo is an address to recommend only to friends who love this half-traditional, half-modern genre of food and atmosphere.
This place is so popular with locals and tourists that you have to arrive very early if you want to eat, otherwise, you queue! Especially in summer, you sometimes have to wait more than a week to get a seat for dinner. The tapas are delicious like this slice of fresh anchovies, cottage cheese and figs or the one with sardines caught in the morning and marinated fresh in a mango sauce.
As for the small seashells harvested that very morning from the immense Algarve beaches, they have a taste that makes you want to never get up from the table.
The first time I came here was in the middle of winter and I was there for work for the prestigious Monte Rei golf resort.
I was taken by the youngest Portuguese star chef Rui Silvestre from Restaurant Vistas because I absolutely had to taste the kitchen and meet the chef and owner, Noélia.
I had been to Lisbon once and had already been introduced to Portuguese cuisine here and there, but this was really typical from the region, the Algarve, which mainly means fish.
Fresh fish from the many different markets of the Algarve is served in a bunch of different forms. Octopus salad, grilled fish, marinated fish, tuna salad and a lot of more to go on that list.
I personnaly loved the “cataplana de peixe” which is a special way to cook rice and fish, similar to the Spanish paella.
Almost every time after that visit we went back there, if only to have a drink and chat with Noélia.
The best time was when we went there for lunch with a number of International star chefs who were in the area for the Gastronomic event Stars, Food & Wine at Restaurant Vistas based on the Monte Rei resort.
It was a big party where Noélia spoiled us with a lot of different dishes that were put on the table. With some dishes the forks and knives went aside and we ate the typical small tapas with our fingers.
It was a total experience: the food, the wines, the company, the conversations, the view over the sea, the fresh and salty sea air in your nose and through your hair and the perfect service.
In a modern setting that does not distort the site, a service that is not idle even in high season, we taste innovative or revisited dishes whose flavors satisfy the most gourmet palates. As for the cellar: it is well fleshed out and goes wonderfully with the menu.
I recommend this restaurant thoroughly!
Restaurante Noélia e Jerónimo
Rua da Fortaleza, Edifício Cabanas-Mar, Loja 1 8800-595 Cabanas de Tavira – Portugal