We had a wonderful dinner here on Good Friday, a day when locals were eating fish and so the place was empty but for one other tourist couple. We were extremely well looked after by the friendly Joseph (who is ex cruise industry) and his kitchen staff, who were together nailed the art of being helpful without hovering.
My companion chose the recommended Madeira meat speciality which is a succulent espetada, which seems to be made of large chunks of beef rubbed in garlic and salt and possibly other spices. It was served hanging from a frame which was fixed to the table and it was absolutely delicious. I was in a mood for steak as well, so I tried another option. I'm not altogether sure what it was called - something like 'steak cup' in the English menu, which didn't make much sense to me. It's really fun - they bring the grilled meat to you on a skewer and slice it over your plate. You take a pair of tongs on the table and lift the meat to your plate as they slice it - it's up to you how rare you like your slices to be. Back the meat goes to the grill and they bring it back when it's sufficiently cooked, and so it goes until either you've eaten every last morsel or they take pity on you! I had black beans, salad and fries as sides and I was absolutely chocka full by the end of the evening. The whole bill for the two of us, including mains with sides and a large beer each was less than 35 euros - we didn't have room for desert and I'm glad we didn't go all out on the starters either!
The restaurant enjoys great views over the town as it's got a lovely hilltop location, so try and get a window seat if you can.
The only downside is that it's a bit scary walking up to the restaurant from town. The footpath disappears halfway up and there are loooots of dogs in the houses up the street which go beserk as you walk past - though they can't reach you. If you can handle the barking and dodging the traffic, you'll make it alive, don't worry, give it a try. But for a more relaxing start to your evening it's probably worth taking a taxi for around 6 euros up to the restaurant from town.
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