Restaurant Review – Sítio da Pedralva, Pedralva, Vila do Bispo
We tried out the Sítio da Pedralva restaurant a couple of weeks ago, while staying at the Aldeia da Pedralva tourist village. I have to admit to being a little sceptical – as Sítio da Pedralva has a captive audience of tourists staying at the village, my expectations were not hugely high. It was particularly delightful, therefore, to have my assumptions destroyed by such a fabulous meal.
Sítio da Pedralva is a small venue, seating perhaps 25 or 30 people in total. It is at once simple and quirky in its décor, with artfully mismatched colours chosen for the place settings, upon gleaming white tablecloths.
The wine list was an interesting experience. We have spent some years familiarising ourselves with the staple Portuguese wines that one might expect to find on offer in a restaurant. On Sítio da Pedralva’s wine list, we recognised only one bottle. We referred to the waitress for a recommendation and were presented with a lovely bottle of white wine called Catarina from Setúbal. Light and fruity, it went perfectly with our couvert.
The couvert was a step above the ordinary. The olives were particularly good, while the delicate, herb-crusted cheese with a drizzle of red berry jus was delicious. A small helping of farinheira (a traditional Portuguese smoked sausage) made an excellent addition.
After such a good start we were eager for our main course. I chose lamb chops, which were excellent – perfectly cooked and with a lovely serving of olive-flecked crushed potatoes. In true Portuguese main course style, there was not a vegetable in sight. My husband ordered octopus rice. Although beautifully cooked and presented, it was perhaps lacking the depth of flavour of my own choice of meal, leading to a minor case of plate-envy.
We had skipped starters in order to have room for dessert, which turned out to be a very good decision. My husband went for the iced chocolate mousse, which was a nice twist on the standard chocolate mousse which is ubiquitous across Portugal. Rich in flavour, it had a melt-in-the-mouth texture, offset by a scattering of crunchy nuts across the top. I chose almond tart, which was light, flaky and packed with chewy, crunchy, almond-y deliciousness.
The service was excellent – the food arrived promptly and the waitress was on hand whenever we needed her, while managing to remain unobtrusive the rest of the time. A wonderful meal overall – this is definitely a restaurant that we will visit again next time we are in the area.