Name of establishment
Bovino Steakhouse, Quinta do Lago
Stylish and sophisticated, as you would expect from Quinta do Lago, and a welcome addition to the region in the sense that the look is very non-Algarve and non-resort: it exudes the quality and individuality you would expect to find in a contemporary steakhouse in New York, London or Dubai. A clever fusion of styles between city-slick and comfy clubhouse, with the added advantage of outdoor space and scenic views, particularly from the rooftop terrace.
It’s a large restaurant, but clever placing of the tables and utilisation of tangent spaces means it feels intimate rather than cavernous. And there’s a fabulous long bar just made for propping, pre-or post-dining.
Chic yet relaxed. You’ll feel equally at home in golf attire during the day or early evening as you would in smart casual wear as the night moves on. Excellent, friendly and knowledgeable staff, who have personalities to go with their skills. It’s not always the case!
It’s primarily a steakhouse of course, and the choice of dishes obviously reflects this. All the beef is grass-fed and aged on the bone for a minimum of 28 days, with the restaurant’s cold room extending the dry ageing process.
The menu even comes with a handy cut-away diagram of a cow to help you choose your cut of meat, and the selection includes fillet, chuleton, New York strip, chateaubriand, rib eye, tomahawk, porterhouse and wagyu, plus a choice of sauces.
For non-beef eaters, those watching their weight/cholesterol levels, or vegetarians, there are also plenty of other options, including Caesar salad, pork, lamb, sole, bream, lobster, penne, and mushroom risotto.
Starters include a variety of local and international favourites such as tuna, clams, oysters, carpaccio and a Mediterranean deli board, whilst among the desserts are classics like key lime pie, New York cheesecake, chocolate brownies, and fresh berries with ice cream.
An extensive (15 pages) list of Portuguese and international favourites, plus some surprises. Ask for recommendations.
Technology from Coravin meanwhile allows you to access and pour wine from a bottle without pulling the cork. If you are a wine enthusiast you can enjoy wine sealed with corks without feeling the need to commit to the whole bottle. Bovino will allow you to explore wines of any vintage, varietal or region, one taste at a time, and pair it with their selection of daily tapas.
Why do you like it?
If you’re a resident or regular Algarve visitor, it’s another welcome option in the Golden Triangle, and for lovers of great steaks, added competition at the top end of the market for Parilla Natural, which should mean both restaurants strive to maintain their high standards.
What could be improved?
Charging extra for sides always seems a little unnecessary - why not just include potatoes and at least one vegetable dish in the price of the main course?
When to go?
Sunday lunch apart, this is an early evening-to-late night venue, equally suited to couples, groups of friends/family, golfing buddies or business get-togethers.
It gets very busy in the height of summer, so reservations then are essential.
Outdoors, the Bovino Pool Bar offers one of the resort's most relaxed daytime venues, with its own menu of light meals and snacks.
For an exclusive dining experience book the chef’s table. Your meal will be served in the bustling atmosphere of the kitchen, allowing you to interact with the chef and his team, who will share their secrets with you. Choose from the regular menu, or if you're feeling adventurous, the chef will surprise you with a bespoke menu created especially for you and your guests.
Heading through Quinta do Lago (from the direction of Vale do Lobo) turn right at Roundabout 6. Bovino is slightly down the hill on your left-hand side. Ample parking.
We’re talking Quinta do Lago here, so don’t expect to dine out if you’re on a tight budget, but on the whole, you get what you pay for, which is an excellent meal in very convivial surroundings.
Starters: from €8-16.50
Mains: from €13.30-49 (or market price)
Desserts: from €3-14
Wine: €5-8 by the glass, with most bottles (excepting the silly-money choices) coming in between €25-40.
Every evening from 6.30 - 9.30pm (last orders).
Also open for Sunday Roast from 12.30 -2.30pm