When you dine at Solar dos Amigos, you take a trip back to a time when people grew their own food, so cooking was informed by a deep knowledge of ingredients.
We realized that our meal was going to be extraordinary when Luisa Nunes, the restaurant owner, brought a small plate of pataniscas (fried codfish) that were wonderfully light and full of flavor. We liked them so much that we tried two other codfish preparations. The first was Tiborna, roasted codfish combined with potatoes, olive oil, and garlic. It is a traditional recipe, but this version shined because of the pristine ingredients and immaculate execution. The second was codfish campino style, a delicious, airy combination with cabbage and white beans baked inside a country bread.
Our first meat dish, fried lamb chops, reminded us of how extraordinary the taste of lamb can be. The grand finale was Cascos à Ribatejo—veal grilled in the huge fireplace of the main dining room. The veal was succulent, tender, and deeply satisfying.
Throughout the meal, different types of bread and vegetable sides were brought to our table: an unforgettable warm corn bread (broa) seasoned with garlic and olive oil, a hearty bean rice, and much more. The food was blissfuly married with the house wine, a bold red produced by Luisa’s octogenarian father.
Luisa is a master of the art of hospitality. Even though the restaurant has four spacious dining rooms, she seems to be everywhere, chatting with regulars, welcoming new clients, making sure the food and service are perfect. Luisa loves the restaurant so much that she never vacations and feels bored on Wednesdays, the day Solar dos Amigos closes. It is her passion that makes dining at Solar dos Amigos such an exceptional experience.
The greatest food in Portugal was not inspired by the kitchens of palaces and noble houses. It comes from a rural tradition that is perfectly reflected in the food of Solar dos Amigos.
Solar dos Amigos is located on a small village called Guisado, 100 km north of Lisbon. The restaurant’s address is Rua Principal, 49, Guisado, Caldas da Rainha. Even though the restaurant is large, it is a good idea to make reservations. Their telephone number is 262-877-135. Click here for their website.