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“Good for pork dishes, red wine & liqueur” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of A Cadeia Quinhentista

A Cadeia Quinhentista
Ranked #4 of 37 Restaurants in Estremoz
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Wine Bar, Grill, Portuguese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Bar scene, Business meetings, Families with children, Scenic view
Dining options: Drinks, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
Description: THE HISTORY OF THE OLD GAOL OF ESTREMOZ The old judicial gaol of Estremoz, a monument of the 16th century, has been converted into a bar and a restaurant, giving back to the town one of its most emblematic (symbolic) buildings. Due to its cosy atmosphere and vivid historical features, “A Cadeia Quinhentista” is much more than a restaurant and a bar; it is a place where gastronomy, history, architecture and design reach perfection. More than a restaurant, “A Cadeia Quinhentista” is the passport for medieval times, in the heart of the Royal Citadel ; it is a true sensorial experience. The Judicial Gaol was erected in the civic centre of 16th century Estremoz (next to the Medieval Town Hall, the Town Church, the Royal Residence and the house of the Governor) and near the medieval grounds of Saint Mary’s graveyard. Medieval burial stones which have been used as filling material for the stone built walls were now found during the construction work that took place to turn the gaol into a restaurant. Today it is believed that this building may also have been erected to be the Town Hall, where, as we all know, there would almost always be a gaol on the ground floor. The rooms occupied by the Town Hall would always be on the first floor. This belief is also supported by some new evidence. During construction work, some traces of frescos were found on the upper floor and even at the entrance leading to the lower floor. The building is a two-storey high quadrangle (the ground floor was reserved for male prisoners and the upper one was occupied by the gaoler and female prisoners) with marble corners which are quite appropriate for a building destined to be a prison. The sixteenth marble staircase stands out, as well as the windows of the same century. The decorations on the lintel of the second-floor windows are clearly of the reigns of our kings D. Manuel I or D. Joao III. The windows also have strong bars, especially the more vulnerable ones, that is, those of the ground floor… The inside retains some sixteenth century brackets which supported simple brick or stone built vaults. The religious services took place in a little chapel situated in front of the Gaol and is now inactive; its Patron Saint was Our Lady of Bom Sucesso. Mass was celebrated on the upper floor balcony so that the prisoners (men and women) could attend the ceremony. The Chapel was supported by the Misericordia of Estremoz for several centuries. Here lived a chaplain until an uncertain date of the 20th century. The religious implements are today in Saint Mary’s Church. The restaurant, where traditional food from the Alentejo predominates, also offers signature dishes which favour the quality products of the region, such as the best meats: free-range pork, veal and lamb, with the subtle flavour of tens of herbs of the region, the national wines, the fresh products, the cheeses and the sausages. Mint, coriander and pennyroyal are added to the lamb, the freerange pork, the dog-fish. The optimal use of different flavours develops creative new concepts and turns gastronomy into art. Conventual sweetfood - “encharcada”, “manjar celeste”, “toucinho do ceu”, among others - mixes the eggs, the sugar, the sugared squash and the almonds with the mastery and tradition of the convents. The water pudding of Estremoz, the pear in Moscatel wine “au gratin” with vanilla ice cream filling and the fan of mango with passion fruit culi and lemon sorbet, are also specialities to tempt and tantalise every palate.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Good for pork dishes, red wine & liqueur”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2012

The Old Prison Restaurant ..... well, the food was a lot better than that from those days! Friendly, informative staff and tasty food give this restaurant a good reputation..We visited twice on our week's holiday. Nicely textured asparagus migas ["bread omelette"] and the regional pork dishes were excellent. The recommended Carmim red wine from Reguengos was really velvety and smooth. Lovely little tasters attractively served on bent spoons were a nice novelty and a complimentary mini-carafe of sweet-acorn liqueur finished off the meal beautifully. Found the chairs which represented the iron grilles of the old prison a little uncomfortable!

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Driscoll62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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389 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    215
    114
    39
    13
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Milan, Lombardia, Italy
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Nice restaurant, nice athmosphere”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2012

I was there for lunch with my young daughters and my wife. We all enjoyed the atmosphere: it was an old prison completely renovated in a modern restaurant. We enjoyed the food and the service: they did their best to entertain our daughters. A bit 'more expensive than the average in Alentejo.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank Simone C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
130 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Fabulous restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2012

The service was extremely attentive and the food delicious and innovative. The view of Estremoz and beyond, from the upstairs terrace is absolutely spectacular. The decor blends modernity and history very tastefully.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank MartaH69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bowen Island, Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Gourmet Heaven”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2012

This restaurant, housed in an ancient jail in the hilltop town of Estremoz is a MUST if you are traveling through the marvelous Alentejo region. The owner is so friendly and accommodating and the food is to die for. The restaurant specializes in gourmet twists on Alentejo cuisine and although the prices are not budget, they are very good value for what you get. Highly recommended.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Carol C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ludlow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Very pleasant dining in a lovely location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2012

We tried this on a very warm May evening and were able to sit outside. Although the terrace is a bit cramped, our table was well situated and we were very pleased with both the service and food. Both the Maitre D' and the young waiter who served us spoke excellent English and were very helpful with finding our way around the menu and with making suggestions - without being pushy. I had a cold melon soup starter, unusual and good, with skate and mushroom as a main course, and strawberries with ice and chantilly cream as desert. My wife had portabello mushrooms starter with pork fillets as a main course and, we think, an egg/pumpkin dessert . All the food was cooked well and served pleasantly. We were awkward with our wine choice as we wanted a local white wine with 12.5% or under alcohol content - they couldn't provide this, but came up with a Lisbon area wine close to it (13%), and not expensive (€12.50).We tried a local dessert wine (red, sweetish, but not too sweet) and, when we pointed out that the menu gave identical descriptions for the two entries, were encouraged to sample both before deciding which we preferred. All finished off with excellent coffee and gratis 'sweety acorn liquor' - being allowed to finish the bottle. We suspected this was, in fact, hazlenut liquor, but were told that they find the sweet acorns from the tree that the pigs surround in the forest. Not sure I believe that, but a good tale. All in all a very enjoyable evening. Not cheap at €114 all in, but we did have 3 courses each, wine, water, dessert wine and coffee included.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Malcolm R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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