With two days to go on our holiday, this is likely our best meal over two weeks in Portugal. To start, we were smitten with the owner/host's hospitality who made us feel like family from "hello". But it was not just us, George treated every table with a level of care and attention missing in way too many establishments. Fluent in six languages and having served in the hospitality business for 30+ years, George knows how to treat people. Frankly, I wish I could bring George back to the US and open a restaurant with him, he's that good.
If you are looking at just a few dozen reviews here and do not think that is enough to convince you of its quality, that is mainly because Momentos has only been opened for 3+ months as of this writing. That said, as the ratings of others diners shows, it has been discovered (except by the folks at our hotel who said it was "too new", as if that was important).
George is a gourmand who knows and loves food. He spoke to us with great enthusiasm about his daily visits to the market to find what is fresh which will dictate that evening's specials. "Fresh" is the operative word here as well as George's healthier perspective on what should accompany a main course. George prefers to forgo the ubiquitous "chips and rice" sides and brings to the table a selection of grilled vegetables that we have not seen repeated in many other places on this trip. Grilled peppers, onions, carrots, parsnips, mushrooms, eggplant and the tiniest baby asparagus. The eggplant was a particular standout and might rank amongst the best I have ever eaten.
The mains courses ran the range. My Mom and I split the grilled fish trio which was excellent. Our kids had steaks which were cooked to perfection and really creatively seasoned. Two pork dishes stood out: one a traditional grilled pork and the other a slow roasted black pork fillet that was extraordinary.
Now, for those with special food alergies, George is very attentive and can accomodate almost anything. The only thing on his menu that was off limits for those with gluten issues were the fried fish fillets which were starters (dusted with wheat flour for the crisp finish). George uses no wheat flour in anything else as far as we know.
There is a good wine list and George opened a bottle for us a bottle to taste and gladly took it back and brought snore when his first recommendation turned out to be too sweet for our palates.
The restaurant itself is clean in design and fresh given it just opened. Several sidewalk tables are available with some additional tables inside the doors and then a large "back room" whose decor and colors reminded us of several Greek island tavernas.
Our only regret was that we were only slated to spend a single night in Evora depriving us of the opportunity for a return to George's hospitality and excellent creations.
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