Figueiral – Tradition and modernity

Figueiral is a restaurant located in Almancil, close to one of the main access points to Quinta do Lago, south Portugal. For over 30 years, this family has opened the doors of their home to welcome us warmly and provide unique moments at the table tasting the best Portuguese cuisine. An excellent service and moments of conviviality with those we love the most.

Figueiral is part of my circuit of must-see places when I visit the Algarve. A comfortable restaurant, in a rustic and elegant atmosphere, and with a service that meets expectations, always attentive and friendly. The space has a lounge area (ideal for an aperitif before the meal) and two separate dining rooms, as well as a more private and quiet outdoor area. As it was still a Summer night, the terrace was the perfect place for an artful tasting.

One of the aspects that pleases me most is the way in which over the years they have managed to combine tradition with modernity. Figueiral’s dishes are served in a careful and modern way but the flavors are truly authentic, elevating Portuguese gastronomy. We can opt for the a la carte menu or accept chef José Botequilha’s daily suggestions, which vary depending on seasonality.

We started the tasting with champagne, perfect to accompany the starters: Goat cheese with apple, honey and walnuts and Grilled shrimp (with a freshness that is felt immediately and served perfectly). We move on to the main dishes – Halibut fillets with shrimp and obviously, chef Eraldo Brandão’s famous Picanha, which is served with rice, black beans, banana, sautéed potatoes with onion and farofa. Without a doubt, this is the best picanha I have ever tasted and one of the best in Portugal. Grilled and served perfectly, with a skill and flavor that leaves no one indifferent. The desserts, Apple pie with vanilla ice cream and Red fruit Pavlova, were perfect to end the meal.

Maintaining the management with which it debuted, Figueiral is a family house managed by matriarch Cláudia Sousa and her son Ivan Gomes and this feels in the best way. Both are the faces of a family business, known by everyone who frequents the house, reflecting the challenges and experience of many years of commitment, dedication and genuine friendliness with which they welcome us. Figueiral is a house full of stories that provides gastronomic experiences with a full heart.

By Carla Branco