You'll find O Pipo on the corner of Largo 1 De Maio, 2. The building its self is long standing edifice with a modern conservatory type addition; through which you enter. Although this is my first review of O Pipo it is not my first visit to this restaurant. This establishment has been around for many years and my first visit was 11 years ago on day trip from along the coast.
The menu is complimented by the addition of a number of a number of dishes of the day. Most refreshingly, these dishes do actually change every day. It does really appear that O Pipo are sourcing and cooking with fresh, fresh, fresh seasonal produce. There is nothing pretentious about this menu. It is top quality regional cooking that: at a glance can seem, almost, too simple. A platter of the fresh catch of the day is always offered for your inspection.
As with a lot of Algarvian restaurants starters are limited to a few dishes. Clams (in season) are very good indeed and there’s plenty for two to share. Stuffed mushrooms are also very good and again, with 4 large mushrooms nestled atop a nice salad, it’s easily enough for two. Soup is also on offer: with vegetable, green bean and, the very tasty, Portuguese style fish soup available to test your taste buds.
When choosing the main course be it meat, fish or seafood you will not be disappointed. The food is beautifully and simply presented and, in all honesty, I have never in over 20 visits, had a dish I didn’t like: if not in fact – love. Consistency in delivering mouth watering food from the kitchen is the order of the day and the chef has got this nailed. Stuffed squids are delivered in a pot. Plenty in number, seemingly swimming in a sea of meaty fishy broth, accompanied with rice and chips, the flavour is awesome: really delicious. Roast kid when available is another fine dish with little kid chops delicately presented and cooked so as to preserve moisture and flavour. A fine lamb stew with potatoes is also a winner. Catapalana of fish and clams or prawns is not to be missed. Presented in this traditional vessel you cannot fail to be impressed as the lid is lifted to reveal a feast for the eyes and pallet alike. This is a meal of gods. Pleasing and fantastic all at the same time.
If you have any room for dessert they stock some of those – in plastic tub types. I have no idea why, as they make delicious Portuguese cakes, tarts and creamy desserts. Perhaps it for the youngsters. A decent selection of wine is available and staff will happily recommend something suitable.
At both lunch and dinner the place is brimming with local dinners. I am always surprised at the lack of foreigners and tourists. O Pipo is plain to see, yet seems to be hidden from the tourists for some reason. May be the locals have cast a spell so that it’s easier for them to get a table. Whatever the reason behind it I hope that I have cast some light on the matter and really would urge you to pay a visit and, if you’re like me, the future visits will take care of themselves.
In summary, O Pipo is hands down the best restaurant in Portimao: no question. Perfect food, a warm and friendly welcome. Not much else to add, except that if I had enough of a baggage allowance I’d take the whole place home with me next week when I return home. Fantastic!
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