Name of establishment
Ria Formosa Restaurante - Hotel Faro
Style and ambience
Modern, light and spacious restaurant/lounge bar, located on the hotel’s rooftop terrace with panoramic views over the city and the Ria Formosa. Popular not only with business clientele staying at the hotel, but also with the Faro in-crowd, as well as a small but growing number of the more adventurous type of ex-pat.
The menu from Algarve-born chef Alberto Carvalho offers a sophisticated twist on traditional Algarve cuisine, using fresh local ingredients and getting the balance just right between innovation and familiarity.
Each of the courses is divided up into ‘innovation’ and ‘tradition’ sectors, catering for a wide range of tastes both for the adventurous diner, and those who prefer to play things a little safer.
Sample starters: Mushrooms, green asparagus and quail egg; Ria Formosa clams with garlic and coriander; Creamy crustacean soup, aromatised with saffron; Sautéed scallops, chorizo and parsnip purée.
Sample mains: Lobster risotto with citrus caviar; Xarém with shrimp and clams; Fish cataplana; Salmon in a corn-bread crust, with trio of peas and ginger; Grouper, scarlet shrimp, razor clams, clams and sweet potato; Free-range chicken with chestnuts and mushrooms; Slow-cooked leg of milk-fed lamb; Duck thigh with honey and medronho; Veal tomahawk, potato gnocchi and mushrooms.
A good choice of sensibly-priced Portuguese varieties (from familiar names to ones you might not have encountered) plus some international favourites. The sommelier will of course guide you, and the wine list, instead of being in printed format, comes on a tablet - giving you informative wine notes and the restaurant the opportunity to easily update/amend the list as required.
Why do you like it?
The view and terrace, of course, is one of the restaurant’s key selling points, but it is more than matched by the food: high-quality, inventive and excellent value-for money for such a sophisticated dining experience.
What could be improved?
Adding a copy of the menu to the website and Facebook page would surely attract more customers. You can sometimes take the phrase 'hidden secret' to extremes...
When to go?
In good weather, the terrace is a perfect vantage point for relaxing pre-and post lunch/dinner drinks.
On Fridays there’s an after-work special offer of wine plus tapas, live music on a Saturday evening, and family brunch served on Sundays.
See forthcoming events on the Facebook page.
Bookings can also be taken for group dinners, business events and special occasions such as birthday and anniversary parties.
The restaurant is also open for breakfast for hotel guests from 7.30-10.30 am.
Hotel guests can also enjoy the small rooftop swimming pool, discreetly tucked away on one side of the terrace so as not to interfere with restaurant/bar patrons.
The Hotel Faro is located right opposite the old marina, at 2 Praca D Francisco Gomes. Cross the lobby and take the lift to the top floor. Don't be put off by the fact that the hotel lobby looks more like the entrance to a bank!
Starters from €4-20
Mains from €14-25 (lobster dishes extra)
Lunch - 12:30 to 15:00
Dinner - 19:30 to 22:00