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“Nice boat trip” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Portas do Mar

Portas do Mar
Quatro Aguas, Tavira, Portugal
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Ranked #45 of 180 Restaurants in Tavira
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Copenhagen
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Nice boat trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

One hour boat trip through Ria Formosa was a fine experience and we saw flamengoes, several fish jumping arpound the boat and fine views.

Visited March 2013
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38 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    23
    10
    2
    3
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Falmouth, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Delicious seafood. Fabulous setting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

Delicious traditional Portuguese food. Try the shellfish cataplana - a stew comprising clams, crab, prawns, mussels and a chorizo type sausage in a tomato based sauce, served in the traditional copper cataplana pot. Gorgeous. Very picturesque setting surrounded by sea and salt marshes. Located next to the little ferry that goes across to Tavira Island. Superb service - friendly and carefully attentive.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“We loved this place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

The food was excellent and the service was perfect! Our hostess was informative and knowledgable and made us feel very welcome. We tried a starter of pigs trotters which were really delicious. Our main courses included a mixed shell-fish and octopus 'stew' which was delicately falvoured with coriander and again delicious. The octopus was cooked to perfection. Puddings included a fig and carob cake with ice cream which was sublime. The meal was also extremely good value for money. Three of the four of us had three courses (one just a main course) but we all had a white port for an aperatif, shared a bottle of wine and then indulged in almond liqueurs and coffees. The bill came to 121 euros - and we didn't mind paying that price at all. The service in particular was really excellent. Thank you to our hostess! We will definitely return and can heartily recommend this restaurant.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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London
Top Contributor
160 reviews 160 reviews
131 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
133 helpful votes 133 helpful votes
“Great seafood - well worth a visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2011

I always like to try a restaurant that we have not yet had the pleasure of eating in whenever we visit Tavira. On this year’s mini break we were fortunate to end up in the Portas do Mar on a Saturday night after a recommendation from Luis who runs the Brisa in Tavira.

You will need to walk 20 minutes from town, drive or catch a cab, at a cost of 4 euros, to get to the Portas do Mar but it’s well worth the trek (if you are staying here out of season it’s very near the only ferry crossing that will be running to the Ilha so this might make a good stopping off point on your return). On our visit it was quite empty, unlike most of the restaurants in town, but the punters that had made the journey seemed to be a regular crowd who appreciate the food and wine. During the high season of July and August you will be lucky to get a table and booking well ahead is apparently essential.

The restaurant itself is quite old school in terms of its décor and menu, which is no bad thing, and it’s situated in a lovely spot right by the river which is a great location to watch the sun go down. We sat in the conservatory area at the front on our visit which was very pleasant. Our waiter and waitress for the evening were both attentive without being over fussy – I would recommend that you have a chat with them if you have any doubts about what to eat or drink as they are very helpful.

As with most places in Tavira, but perhaps even more so at the Portas do Mar, fish and seafood in particular should be what you are ordering. Armed with a gin and tonic, resisting the allure of the “couvert”, and after much debate while nibbling on the very tasty bread we finally made our order. I kicked off with a lovely fish soup comes highly recommended; plenty of white fish in a delicate veggie laden broth made for a good start to our meal. B had the asparagus and shrimp soufflé, after a lot of discussion about the merits of in or out of season, which was less successful being a tad burnt on top and a bit undercooked inside. Stick with the fish and keep it simple would be my advice.

For our main we shared the seafood cataplana which I enjoyed immensely and B thought was a food obstacle course. I love the drama of the large clam like dish being brought to the table and then flipped open to reveal a multitude of mussels, clams, crab, lobster, bits of white fish and spicy sausage all in a lovely fragrant sauce. To do justice to this meal, and to make sure you do not leave the restaurant hungry, you will need to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in. You will be supplied with the shellfish tools of the trade in terms of cutlery and you will need to put them to good use. If this is not your idea of foodie heaven you might be wiser to sticking with a fillet of fish.

The wine list at the Portas do Mar has plenty of choice, even for those of us drinking on a budget, and is very keenly priced. We had a lovely bottle of Planeta which cost 9 euros which was a couple of euros less than we paid in town.

I liked this place a lot, probably a little more than B did – but as I am the one posting up this review I will give the Portas do Mar a well-deserved 4 stars. I look forward to a return visit.

Visited September 2011
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Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Very nice and charming place with good food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2011

We loved the place. Gaspacho and figs snack were realy great, avocado salad as well. The atmosphere is realy cosy and relaxing. Worth to try while staying in tavira

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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