Tapas da Vila offers much more than a great view over Carvoeiro beach
When local couple Toni and Maria Rebelo opened their restaurant, located on the hill up to Carvoeiro’s church just before the GNR police station, they decided from the outset to create something that the village has long been lacking, and that is somewhere to sample authentic Algarve and Portuguese cuisine.
The great location and terrace overlooking the beach are a bonus. This is a small restaurant with seating for just 40 people, of which around 16 highly coveted places are outside on the terrace. But locals who visit on a regular basis can usually be found dining inside, concentrating on the food as opposed to the views.
The menu is varied and quite extensive, with far too many dishes to mention here, but favourites for many regulars include the delicious fried squid with garlic; small tender squid cooked in white wine and garlic with a lovely sauce that begs to be mopped up with the fresh rustic bread.
The fried prawns in garlic are a similar story, as is the traditional Portuguese dish of clams cooked in fresh coriander and garlic “Bulhão Pato” style. These are just a few of the dishes ideal to be served as starters for sharing between a group, without forgetting the great garlic bread.
All dishes are designed for sharing and, for main course, it is worth looking out for the daily specials. On a recent visit, we enjoyed an excellent Arroz de Tamboril (monkfish rice stew), which included some large, tasty prawns cooked in the same pot. There is also usually good fresh fish on offer and meat lovers are also well catered for with dishes such as grilled rib-eye steak.
For dessert, a traditional home-made chocolate mousse is a favourite, best enjoyed after a traditional feast such as this with a drop of your espresso coffee and a dash of after-dinner Portuguese brandy mixed into it.
As for the wines, Toni and Maria carry a small but good selection including various references from the Algarve along with wines from other parts of the country.
Tapas da Vila is open Thursday to Tuesday for lunch and dinner and during the afternoon for snacks, wine and sangria.
Photos: CHARLOTTE COCKAYNE/OPEN MEDIA GROUP