Review – Dom Sebastião Restaurant Lagos
We took a calculated gamble when we visited Dom Sebastião in Lagos on the last night of our family’s visit to Portugal.
It had been a long time since we enjoyed a meal there – probably around ten years! For this reason we had no idea whether our fond memories may have been enhanced with time, or if the place may have changed or deteriorated in quality.
We needn’t have worried.
Dom Sebastião appears to be extremely popular, and as much so with locals as with tourists. Its reputation is deserved.
Service here is classy and accomplished. Although my wife and I tend to end up with favourite restaurants that feature rustic food, paper tablecloths and cutlery that lasts through starter and main course, it does make a pleasant change to be pampered.
The couvert in Dom Sebastião is generous and of quality. On our visit, it included dishes of chorizo served aflame in Portuguese aguardente, as well as the usual suspects such as marinated carrots.
We skipped starters, something I would urge all but the foolhardy or gluttonous to do. Portion sizes here are BIG and the couvert is more than enough.
My wife and I chose a signature dish of kid stew. It was what we had all those years ago, and we had fond memories of it. The stew came in a pot large enough to serve six and was rich and warming – perhaps a little too much so for a warm evening. Although we enjoyed the goat stew, the richness, along with the intimidating portion size, lead to us be rather jealous of our companion’s choices.
My mother’s fillet steak looked perfect and almost tender enough to cut with a spoon. Its salad garnish appeared distinctly “fine dining” and included some marinated beetroot that was the cause of some adoring noises.
Her partner’s arroz de marisco (shellfish rice) was the cause of abundant praise (in fact, I think I may have heard the word “beautiful” from someone not usually so vocal in such matters!) His mother’s chicken curry arrived in a large pot all of its own, and was again far too much to serve just one person – she did have a jolly good go, however, and pronounced it “delicious.”
Desserts were similarly generous in size. Three of us went for mango mousse which was home made, light and fresh – a good job, as it was served with a large scoop of mango ice cream and some intricate swishes of chocolate sauce that it seemed a shame to destroy.
Our dinner didn’t end there. After coffee that was particularly good (a serious achievement in a country where ALL coffee is good), we were given a choice of port or almond liqueur on the house. After this, we were brought a large basket of local almonds. Quite how we managed to eat any is beyond me, but we did nonetheless.
We left, several hours after arrival, with the kind of contented feeling that only comes from a perfect combination of food and service – and at a price that seemed excellent value.
If we lived up the Lagos end of the Algarve, Dom Sebastião would be our restaurant of choice for all the “last nights” with our various visitors. Sadly, we live “up the other end,” but we will do all we can to make sure it isn’t another ten years before we visit again. If it happens to be on a cool winter day, that kid stew will be just perfect.
Interested in Portuguese food? This book is a MUST!