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“Alentejo Cuisine at it´s best!”

A Cadeia Quinhentista
Ranked #4 of 37 Restaurants in Estremoz
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Portuguese, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
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.
Lisbon, Portugal
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Alentejo Cuisine at it´s best!”
Reviewed November 14, 2012

The restaurant is located in the historic center of Estremoz village, inside the old castle walls, and next to the Pousada/Castle tower and old medieval plaza with lovely churches. It used to be a old prision (hence the name "a cadeia" = "the jail"), dated from the 16th century, where you can actually see old (400 yo) drawings carved in the stone windows. Then it was a clerical house, library... a place full of history! now a days its a hip place, well restored, sophisticated and cosy atmosphere. Friendly staff, very helpful make you fell at ease! The menu consists of traditional dishes/ cuisine from the Alentejo, being the black pig meat, the various types of Portuguese sausages, game/hunting meat, several grilled steaks and the famous Portuguese codfish and dogfish the stars of the menu!!! Also very fine is the wine menu with s good quality of Portuguese wine and specially from Alentejo and Estremoz!!! Homemade traditional desert makes the eating experience here even more sublime (excellent Sericaia!) !!!. Overall its a food experience (somehow like a slow-eating experience...), with a marvellous cuisine, friendly staff in a historical place!!!

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Pedro M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Lisbon, Portugal
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Top restaurant. Excelent game food!”
Reviewed November 11, 2012

This restaurant has the whole package: the setting (15th century jail building in the castle: jail downstairs; jailkeeper quarters upstairs); the ambiance (good taste decoration); the produce (fresh and local, game in game season that starts in the end of the summer); the cooking (respects its origins but is presented in a contemporary style); and the service (educated waiters which is rate in Portugal). The price is fair.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Rnbramos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Top places in Portugal.”
Reviewed October 30, 2012

Very good food, service and atmosphere. A couple will spend around 65 euros for a remarkable dinner, with a 3/8 bottle of wine and desert. The restaurant is located up to the hill, inside the medieval city walls. The full name is "Cadeia Quinhentista". "Cadeia" means jail, and the restaurant is at where a jail took place centuries ago. You will notice the windows. Very well decorated, reserved, romantic and confortable. Strongly recommended... our sugestion, ask for the "perdiz suada em azeite". During the night you will find a place to park on the street (not sure during the lunch time).

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Charlotte_P_x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Our best meal in Portugal!!”
Reviewed October 16, 2012

A friend and I splurged and had the full meal deal, that included wine, bread, olives, appetizers, main courses and one dessert that totalled around 80 euros. It was worth every cent. I had the partridge, and my friend ate the lamb, both of which were impeccably presented and delicious to consume. The service was flawless and very customer service oriented, even going as far as to tell us where to purchase the wine we consumed at dinner. The decor in the old town jail were unique, and later we finished our wine on the roof top terrace with views of Estremoz and the castle. Because we visited mid week, the restaurant was very quiet, which may have had a positive impact on the service we received.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank JandKEdmonton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kent
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A little different”
Reviewed October 12, 2012

If you want a slight change in style from the majority of Portuguese restaurants then A Cadeia is a good choice. Without loosing sight of traditional dishes they present them in a different way with a few ideas of their own - nicely presented & well cooked with very friendly service. The wine list is good but you don't really need to stray far from the local wines as they are excellent - one of the red wines sold by the glass was an absolute stunner !

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank woodpeckerKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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