Restaurant Review – O Monteiro, Cabanas
Just the other day, I was saying to my wife how easily we find ourselves stuck in the same comfortable routines. Even though we’ve now been living in the Tavira area for nearly five years, there are still plenty of bars and restaurants we’ve never set foot in.
Instead, we tend to continually return to our tried and tested favourites – perhaps not ideal when running a food blog! In our defence, we do a lot of our eating out when we have visitors to stay, and to ensure they have as good a holiday as possible we go back to places we know are sure to please them.
Anyway, on Monday evening, we tried somewhere new – and somewhere that’s been staring us in the face for years – O Monteiro, right on the seafront in Cabanas.
A couple of people had recommended it to us before, including the friends we were sitting with outside the neighbouring Beach Cafe Sportsbar that night. It was the first properly warm evening of the year and we were all getting to the point where we had to decide what to go home and cook. Tempted by the mild weather, we decided to forget about the hassle of the supermarket and all head to O Monteiro instead.
After a couvert of juicy green olives, bread and pate, we went straight for our friends’ recommended dish of pork and clams. We eat pork and clams a lot, but this was really rather different. The pork and clams were surrounded by an oval of juicy thick tomato slices and mixed with cubed potatoes and the very clever addition of finely chopped pickled vegetables that cut beautifully through the richness of the dish. This was pork and clams taken to another level!
I remain a huge fan of pork and clams cooked the more simple way too, and can imagine times when I will fancy one recipe over the other. However, the different presentation and slight enhancements to the basic recipe that we enjoyed at O Monteiro really do make it worth the trip.
Two of the other people with us also had pork and clams. Our other two companions enjoyed a bitoque (steak with egg) and lombinho (pork tenderloin) with no complaints at all! We were all (unfortunately) rather too full to comment much about dessert, but my wife reports that her arroz doce was “creamy, cinammony and lemony,” which I think is the general idea…
We really enjoyed our meal at O Monteiro – and the bill was a great surprise at just €15 per head including a decent tip (superb considering that we didn’t hold back on the wine and sangria!) We’ll definitely be back – and we’ll also take note of the valuable lesson that we really should try more of the places on our doorstep instead of sticking to what we know.