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“Friendly excellence without falseness”
Review of O Portao

O Portao
Ranked #34 of 676 Restaurants in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed December 6, 2013

O Portao stands out from the multitude of restaurants in the Old Town by avoiding most of the pushiness that goes with competing for the lower visitor numbers in the winter months, relying instead on reputation and good food. Our meal was for a birthday and we were happy to pay a little extra. In late November no booking was needed and we were not cajoled off the street as with most of its neighbours. Once inside (it was a bit showery at the time), we noticed one of the more expensive wines was a type we had never heard of, but the waiter pointed out that it was made in the Barrada region of Portugal from a particular grape (Baga) that the owner liked and was unlikely to be on any other wine list in Funchal because it was not to everyone's taste. He suggested something else cheaper but we persevered with it and split down the middle in its favour; it actually went best with the fruity dessert despite being a red wine. I needn't say much about the food; it was first class. The menu might look similar to others in the Old Town but we had different dishes cooked to perfection and each seeming to have some extra ingredient or two that made it stand out. The staff are well aware of British preferences and willing to talk about the dishes and their preparation. They fully understand that they are there to look after the customers, make them feel part of the restaurant for a couple of hours, and ensure they come back. We will.

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1  Thank ceciliami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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359 - 363 of 943 reviews

Reviewed December 3, 2013

Alberto, Ernesto and Carlos have given us wonderful evenings with delicious food and wines since January 2002 when we came to live on Madeira. In 2010 we moved to S France (where the food is great, of course) but we always yearn to return to O Portão when we holiday on Madeira - not often enough. We're all old friends now and were welcomed again as such last Friday, our first return visit for three years. The food and friendly service continues to be TRULY EXCELLENT and we're thrilled to read so many others feel the same. Alberto always remembers our favourites: Carpaccio of Tuna for us both to start with; Squid in a devilled sauce for Tony and Scabbard Fish with shrimp sauce for me; zabaglione for us both to finish. White wine, Planalto and red wine, Vinha da Monte. Enjoy this restaurant and all it offers.... we'll be with you in spirit. Cheers!

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2  Thank judithhl48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2013

Incredible service, at our pace. Not hassled to go in, unlike many other restaurants in this area.
Absolutely fantastic, freshly prepared food, with Local dishes as well as other options.
Wonderful quality ingredients, and fabulous sauces.
Really good value for money.
We were recommended to go here by locals, and returned for a special last night of our holiday.

We tried the skewered steak which was cooked to perfection, and not over seasoned. On a previous trip we had the medallions of veal, beef, pork in an excellent Madeira sauce.

As for the deserts; the crepé Suzette is to die for!
Other diners were enjoying fish dishes, and also enjoyed the wonderful, good humoured service in fluent English, French, German or Portuguese.

Will will be back!

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1  Thank Phil P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2013

....for more! Excellent freshly cooked high quality food with good wine both very reasonably priced and served by highly professional, well informed staff. We can't recommend this wonderful friendly restaurant enough.

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1  Thank epsomladies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2013

We read the reviews and decided to make a trip down to the old town. We had a stroll and we certainly liked the fact that these guys didn't tout, they greeted us pleasantly and let us choose our seat, we sat outside and enjoyed taking in the atmosphere of the old town.
We both had soup, one squash and one tomato, accompanied by their sweet potato bread. Both soups were homemade and delicious, the sweet potato bread made a lovely change from bolo da caco.
For main course we both had omelette's which were served with fries, fried onions and mixed vegetables, they were beautiful omelette's. Our only disappointment was that we had asked when we ordered if the omelettes could be served with salad, but the waiter insisted that they could only be served with vegetables, we would have both preferred salad to the carrots, beans & courgettes which we were served, never the less the veg was cooked to perfection.
Overall a very pleasant meal and we would recommend.

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Thank juicemuds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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