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“Great setting, food variable”

Gourmet Natural at the Ermitage
Ranked #5 of 151 Restaurants in Almancil
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $38 - $59
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Business meetings, Kids, Families with children, Local cuisine, Romantic, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Validated Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Gourmet Natural is a new style of steak restaurant, featuring all free range, 100% grass fed beef. Fish, sea food and vegetarian options available. service is attentive but no stiff, it helps you to relax into the spirit of the restaurant. Magnificent garden with a beautiful cocktail bar.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great setting, food variable”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2014 via mobile

Great setting and friendly staff. The beef was mixed-some of our party had good steaks, others were rather dry, even one that was correctly cooked medium rare. Also, they will automatically serve bread and dips etc, so don't feel you need to go for starters unless very hungry. Food good value, wine list can be a bit toppy, with a number of cheaper wines (35-50 euros a bottle unavailable). Would go back, but not as great for us as the other reviews would suggest-perhaps we were unlucky.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Ranmoreboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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370 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    61
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    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, California, United States
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Dining Perfection in Almancil”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2014

Gourmet Natural is a Uruguayan-style steakhouse located about 15 minutes from the Vale do Lobo resort. It's a little off the beaten path from the cluster of restaurants you pass along the way, and somewhat hidden. In fact, my taxi driver zoomed right past it. The signage isn't obvious, so keep your eyes open!

The first thing you notice when walking into the restaurant, apart from how very nice the decor and ambiance is here, would be the campfire-like smell. It soon becomes apparent what the source of this aroma is: the huge firebox (see photo) used to prepare the meat. It dominates your field of view, drawing you ever closer, even though the hostess is trying in earnest to lead you toward the terrace. However, once seated in this lovely outdoor dining area, the roaring flames that once entranced fade away, and you settle into a comfortable and relaxed state of being.

Upon being seated, I was greeted by my waitress and presented with the cocktail list to review pre-dinner beverage options. I settled on an orange mojito, and it was both refreshing and potent.

It was a bit challenging to decide on my entree. Despite the fact I was dining alone, I gave serious consideration to the mixed grill for two, which consisted of rib eye, sirloin and filet. Rather, I opted for the butterflied filet with potato gratin and pan roasted asparagus. But, to start, I enjoyed a duo of amazing empanadas. One was filled with 3 kinds of cheese with a crust as flaky as a real Parisian croissant. The other was filled with a well seasoned meat, the crust more dense and tender. They were served with a piquant barbecue sauce and a nice, verdant pesto.

Ah, but on to the main event. My steak, beautifully grilled, was served plainly on a large white plate, a light streaking of sauce its only accompaniment. I did, however, get a side of the chimichurri. Other side sauce options included Bernaise, red wine reduction, peppercorn and creamy mushroom. But, since this is a South American styled establishment, chimichurri was the obvious choice. The potato gratin looked outstanding, with the kind of cheesy crust one would find on a well made French onion soup. The asparagus was bright green, sitting in a small chafing dish with a few roasted shallots and a few dabs of thick Balsamic vinegar.

Cutting into my filet, I was rewarded with a perfect medium rare. And the flavor was very much reminiscent of the beef I've enjoyed in Argentina or Brazil. It's the kind of deep beefy flavor we just don't often get in the states (Snake River Farms or Lone Mountain being a few notable exceptions.) Despite the excellent crust, the gratin might have been a tad too rich, but was nonetheless very tasty. I was, however, simply blown away by the asparagus. It was perfectly cooked, still very crisp, and tasted like it had just been picked. In all my life I've never had such fresh tasting asparagus, or perhaps any vegetable. Dabbing a bit of it in the Balsamic only further contributed to an already perfect side dish. The vinegar's flavor was so intense and acid so profound, not only did it heighten the asparagus itself, it also served as an excellent means to cutting through the gratin's creamy richness. Needless to say, I finished every single bite. All of this was washed down with an amazing Portuguese vinho tinto, in this case a bottle of 2009 Quinta do Crasto Reserva Old Vines Red. Unfortunately, my Portuguese isn't so good and was unable to discern anything from the bottle. But, in aroma it smelled much like a Cabernet, while the flavor was similar to a Charbono or a Barbera. In any case, it was a delicious wine and an excellent pairing.

Did I need to order dessert? Well, this is vacation afterall and I recall something about those calories not counting. Anyway, I like options so decided to get the Gourmet Trio. Situated on a rectangular plate were pretty substantial servings on milk toffee cheesecake, apple crumble and chocolate mousse cake. Don't make me pick a favorite; they were all excellent in their own way. If pressed, though, I'd probably say the cheesecake.

Service was extremely friendly, attentive and aiming to ensure the finest dining experience possible. I have to say that they certainly hit the mark. Although my stay in Portugal isn't over yet (I have another 4 days ahead), this is the best meal I've had and probably will have while here. I hope to be surprised in the next few days, but when you hit perfection, how can it be topped?

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Bryce B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gourmet N, Manager at Gourmet Natural at the Ermitage, responded to this review, September 9, 2014
Dear Bryce,

Thank you very much for your feedback of your recent trip at Gourmet Natural. You critique is so detailed and captivating when reading it we see and feel your real experience! An experience that we wish upon all of our customers. You have very graciously explained our complete concept and ultimate goal for the restaurant! I would like to extend a massive thank you from all of the team at Gourmet Natural. We really look forward to welcoming you back the next time you are in the Algarve.

Thanking you again,

Grazy and the Gourmet Natural Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Birthday Dinner”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2014

We love the surroundings and atmosphere at Gourmet and have celebrated our daughters birthday there for the last 4 years. Lovely!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Strathwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
24 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Super atmosphere, excellent service and cracking steak.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2014

This place is always heaving, so you definitely need to book, but it's certainly worth the effort. The setting is a beautiful courtyard, and the food is brilliant. We had to wait for a while for our table when we arrived ( a little early to be fair ) but were directed to a lovely bar area, and given some delicious canapes to keep us happy whilst we waited. Amazing food and wine, and a delicious port to finish. We left feeling boozy, full and happy - highly recommended.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank LondonAlex2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
153 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2014

A fabulous hostess, Patricia, showed us to our table. Fabulous setting with majority of tables outside. The speciality here is all different varieties of steak on the bbq cooked exactly how you want it. I recommend the filet which was perfect. There were plenty of children here but I enjoyed this place with friends only - it's quite a pricey restaurant. Was a little disappointed with our waitress who took our order and then showed little interest in us for the rest of the evening. Book in advance.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Amanda G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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