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Pimenta Preta

Name of restaurant

Pimenta Preta, Carvoeiro

Style

Contemporary Portuguese cuisine combined with Mediterranean dishes and seasonal menus. The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere, with diners encouraged to take their time and enjoy the modern decor, thoughtful and inventive menu and a wide wine list.

The food

The menu has been refined to only a few choices for starters, fish, meat and vegetarian options, but you will still find it hard to choose, with it all sounding so good. The Portuguese dishes in particular offer a new perspective on some old favourites.

The menu changes every six months to reflect the summer and winter, with heavier, warming dishes for the colder months and lighter, more refreshing choices for the summer.

Owner Nuno used to be a vegetarian, and there is a good selection on the menu for non-fish and non-meat eaters, and he is always willing to create special dishes on request.

Try to leave space for a dessert as the flambéed pineapple at your table is not only impressive to watch but also delicious.

The drink

Nuno is passionate about his wines and has created a very affordable wine list, based on his desire to show off some of the best that Portugal has to offer.

The house wine is €12, with others ranging in price up to €40 a bottle.

Why do you like it

It is immediately obvious that the staff, chefs and management are all committed to providing the best service possible, and attention to detail is apparent at all times - from the enjoyable yet non-intrusive music selection to the pride in serving the food.

Although the tablecloths are crisp and the cutlery polished to within an inch of its life, Pimenta Preta isn’t a place to stand on ceremony - you are encouraged to dispense with your knife and fork when it comes to eating the shellfish with your fingers or gnawing on the lamb chops.

When to go

If you want to pair contemporary Portuguese food with traditional Portuguese entertainment, then look out for fado nights held during the winter months.

In summer, tables are also available outside by the pool, and there is live music on Friday evenings.

The restaurant also runs special promotional nights - keep an eye on their Facebook page.

Insider knowledge

If you are unsure what wine to drink with your meal, let Nuno put together wine pairings for each course. And if you want to know more about the wines of Portugal, book in for one of their regular wine tasting sessions.

Size

The restaurant can hold more, but the staff like to maintain service levels, and have a limit of around 40 people at any one sitting.

Location

Palm Gardens, Vale de Centeanos, Carvoeiro. Located on the outskirts of Carvoeiro, leave the town and pass the Tivoli Hotel on the right hand side and continue to the Pestana Palm Gardens Resort. Turn right when you see the Pimenta Preta sign and follow the road into the resort. The restaurant is near the pool.

Cost

Starters from €9.50

Main courses from €16.50 to €22

Desserts from €4.50

Opening times

7pm until 10.30pm daily

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Pimenta Preta

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