Name of establishment
Parrilla Natural, Almancil
Stylish and contemporary restaurant specialising in Uruguayan steaks and grills - the word parrilla in South America translates as grill/steakhouse.
The overall look is inspired by the traditional Algarve villa which is at the heart of the venture, and they have wisely not gone for any ‘gaucho’ theming. There’s a large, spacious indoor seating area, with several of the tables affording a good view of the open grill and kitchen, plus beautiful mature gardens housing the enormous outdoor seating section, lounge area and bar.
Smart-casual is the order of the day, in a restaurant that’s equally popular with locals and visitors, business executives and holidaymakers, couples, groups of friends and families: there’s even a kid’s playground.
The restaurant is part of the same group that owns The Natural Meat Co. in Almancil, set up to offer the best in certified meat from Uruguay. The steaks are therefore prime cuts from animals raised on natural pastures without antibiotics or hormones.
But if you are not a fan of red meat or if you are looking for something lighter, they also offer salads, pasta, fish and seafood dishes.
Alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, beer, soft drinks, and an extensive Portuguese wine list.
Why do you like it?
A great atmosphere, with a real buzz: this is a polished, sophisticated, well-run operation. The staff are excellent - polite, efficient and knowledgeable. And best of all, you won’t find better steaks anywhere in the Algarve.
When to go?
The interior of the restaurant is fine, so it works well in winter. But what makes Parrilla stand out is the outside dining area, under the trees and under the stars. In summer, it’s a delight, and even when the evening temperatures are dropping a little, you can still enjoy eating in the garden or on the terraces as they employ outdoor heaters.
The steaks come with a choice of sauce, but sides (eg fries, vegetables) are extra. Portions are huge however, so don’t over-order. Sharing platters are a good idea, as they also give you the chance to try different cuts of meat.
Booking is advised most of the year round, and absolutely essential in summer.
As well as The Natural Meat Co. the company also operates the Gourmet Natural and Cocina Natural restaurants in Almancil.
On the main Estrada Vale do Lobo road (M527) between Almancil and Vale do Lobo. Coming from Almancil through Escanxinhas, it is just after the sharp left hand bend where Simply Tapas & Vinho is located. Parrilla Natural is then on the right hand side of the road - look out for the high wall and large metal gates. Head slightly uphill and follow the signs to the car park.
GPS: 37.071175, -8.048094
Sample starters: chorizo - €9.50; calamari - €7.50; salads from €7
Sample mains: fillet steak (200g) - €23.50; sirloin (227g) - €20.50; rack of lamb - €26.50; chargrilled chicken - €16; burger (200g) - €18.50; sharing platters (2-6 people) from €39.50; sides from €3, extra sauces - €2.50; children’s menu (including ice cream for dessert) - €11.50
Sample desserts: ice cream - €4; cheesecake - €9; chocolate mousse cake - €8
They also do a 4-course set Sunday lunch comprising couvert, starter, main and dessert for €19.90 (€9.90 for children under 12).
Every day for dinner from 7pm until late.
Late night bar.
Live music every Friday.