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“Impeccable French restaurant - wonderful seafood” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Le Prive

Le Prive
20 Rue du 15 Aout | Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal 0000, Cape Verde
+238 992 33 92
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Ranked #9 of 72 Restaurants in Ilha do Sal
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: French
Dining options: Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Impeccable French restaurant - wonderful seafood”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

In a tiny town like Santa Maria, it was odd to stumble across a French restaurant of genuinely international quality. Form the street, there's nothing to see but a blue door and a sign. Inside, the restaurant is laid out in a large garden and is lit to have a fairytale feel about it. I'm guessing this makes it romantic for couples, but for the single, it's difficult to read your book :) The menu is, unsurprisingly, focussed on local fish - though they do a fine steak tartare if you feel the need. The influences are French and Japanese, with a local twist. A seafood platter was a wonderful assortment of cowries au gratin, prawns, raw and cured fish and a local seaweed. A main course of Ahi Tuna was perfectly cooked with a delicate soy/chilli sauce and a crisp refreshing salad with an oriental dressing. The wine list is short but good, and the local wine (from Fogo) is eminently drinkable. I was so impressed I went back on my second night and had a ceviche of wahoo - perhaps the only disappointing dish - though the fish was lovely, it lacked the tang and spice of a good Peruvian or Mexican ceviche - followed by spaghetti with clams (simple but perfectly done)

This is attentive white-linen service, friendly and never obsequious. There was live Caboverdiano music, which was lovely without ever being obtrusive. Diners ranged from large familys at refectory style tables to couples… I would heartily reccommend it as the finest restaurant I have thus far found on the islands.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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69 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    47
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“The best Fish i've ever eaten”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014 via mobile

This is the best restaurant we have visited in cape verde! The food was so good and the location is perfect. It's a really lovely and romantic place. The french chef is great person too!

Visited February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wrangbrook
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Hidden Treasure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013 via mobile

Absolutely exquisite little place accessed through a hole in a wall. The Bedouin tents and dressed pergolas give a perfect ambiance to the alfresco dining and the food is possibly the best on the island.

Visited December 2013
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Cirencester
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A fantastic 'secret garden' hideaway treat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2013

We visited Le Prive on one of our many evenings in lovely Santa Maria, and what a find it was! It was like a secret garden, found through a non-descript door in a wall. The garden was tastefully lit up and had seating under a foliage covered pergola as well as under an open Bedouin tent. There was beautiful music performed by a local musician playing the Cora - an African instrument which is a little like a harp. It was a simple yet romantic and peaceful setting.

The food was beautifully presented, and not overly large portions (for once! Cape Verde meals seem to be huge!). The service was excellent - attentive and genuine and the cooking was done in view of everyone, on the huge outdoor barbeque.

There is also a seating area just inside the restaurant by the bar should you prefer to just have a drink and not a full meal.

We will definitely return, if not on this trip, then on our next.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“simply the best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

When on holiday, we go to as many restaurants as we can, then pick the best for the last night. Le Prive was one of the last we visited and we wished we had gone sooner. It is on a different planet to every other restaurant in Santa Maria. Set in a lovely walled garden, this is a restaurant that would deserve to succeed in any location in the world.

You enter a door in the wall into a comfortable bar with wicker chairs. Through the bar the restaurant has two parts - one under an awning and the other covered or semi covered. An open kitchen is adjacent to the bar. The menu is short but interesting and there is a specials board, containing things like smoked fish tagliatelle where the fish was smoked in house. I had had a seafood gratin in Chez Pastis where one could only taste the cheese. Here the moist and flavoursome fish dominated with the cheese accentuating their flavour. Beautifully baked grouper flamed in pastis was a wonderful use of perfectly fresh local ingredients with the delicate taste of aniseed pervading the fish. Every dish had a clever twist, using classic French techniques to present local delicacies.

I could go on but it would be repetitive. I will just say that Le Prive is absolutely unmissable.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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