“One good thing about Winter is that it is easier to dine at Noélia” our Algarve friends told us. “In the Summer it is impossible to get in.” Curious, we made reservations a week in advance.
As soon as we sat down in this seaside restaurant in the village of Cabanas, we knew we were in for something special. There was a festive atmosphere and the aromas of the sea filled the air.
The restaurant is noisy but our waiter was a mind reader who guessed what we wanted without the need for much verbal communication. And so a perfectly chilled bottle of sparkling wine arrived, followed by a plate of steamed langoustines. “They were caught this morning” the waiter told us. “I know you’ll like them.” We were so impressed by the crustaceans’ exquisite taste that we vowed never to eat frozen seafood again.
Our main dish was rice with lemon, corvina, and conquilhas, small cockles that only exist in the Algarve. We appreciated in silence the sublime combination of flavors. A Dom Rodrigo, a sweet combination of fios de ovos (egg threads) and almonds, rounded the meal.
Noélia, the chef, seemed to be everywhere: cooking, talking to regulars, giving instructions to the staff, making final adjustments to the plates before they were brought out. She is a culinary comet that brightens everything she touches.
Suddenly, she arrived at our table and asked: “did you like the food?” “We loved it,” we replied. “But we’re sorry we’re too full to try other dishes.” “Next time order oyster risotto and favas with cuttle fish,” she said. “I get up at 6:00 am to make sure I buy the best oysters in Algarve.” And she was gone as quickly as she had arrived.
Outside, the moon was painting the sea with its silver light. But no one in the restaurant paid any attention. The moon cannot compete with a comet called Noélia.
The Restaurante Noélia & Jerónimo is located in the village of Cabanas near Tavira, Algarve at Rua da Fortaleza, Edifício Cabanas-Mar, Loja 6, tel, 281370649. Reservations are a must.
26 thoughts on “A comet called Noélia”
Sound amazing. I only live up the road. Restaurants in Cabanas can be hit and miss. Will definitely be making that reservation. Thank you for the tip. Sarah
It is a magical place!
Trying to make a booking, but cannot get them to answer the phone! Do you know if they have email address, as I cannot find one.
Any help would be greatly appreciated
HI Pam, sorry but they do not use email. The restaurant is incredibly busy so you just have to keep trying. Another strategy is to show up early and give your name. You can take a stroll on the beach while you wait. The food is delicious; it is worth the wait!
It used to be possible to send a message through their facebook page but this does not seem possible at the moment. https://www.facebook.com/noeliaejeronimorestaurante/?fref=ts
It sounds delightful!
Reblogged this on The Portugal Years and commented:
Sea food in the Algarve
What a wonderful pieceof writing.Never was a truer a word spoken.She is our favourite Algarvian chef.
Thank you so much. Your praise means a lot to us.
What a lovely post! And that restaurant sounds great!
It is a magical place!
A great place to eat! I am a regular for 15 years. I go on propose from Lisbon to eat at Noélia several times a year.
It is worth a special trip!
Superb food and beautiful staff we love this very special place,see you guys in the summer.
on my to-visit-list for my Portugal road trip! 🙂 lovely!
It is a magical restaurant!
That was a mouth-watering post! While I have not yet been to Portugal, I do agree that life near the sea is as good as it gets. I’m on the Mediterranean and can’t imagine a place I would rather be. Perhaps I shall make it down there one day?
We hope you’ll come visit!
It is on the list, France is not that far and some friends may be moving there so your’s is the second invitation. Thank you!
On my list! Thanks for the recommendation! Anita
It is a magical place!
Love your blog, thank you! We will definitely try this restaurant not so far from were we live in Vila Real de Santo António.
Thank you for visiting our blog. Noélia is a really wonderful restaurant.
Another great place is Casa do Polvo in the village of Santa Luzia. Here’s out post about it: http://buff.ly/25uvNxi
It’s one of the best kept secrets of the paradise in the eastern Algarve, Cabanas de tavira.
Reblogged this on Seasun Vacation Rentals and commented:
Noelia Restaurante in Cabanas de Tavira