It was an act of bravery. We drove up the serpentine road to Serra d’Ossa to dine at a restaurant we couldn’t find on trip advisor! But a trusted local source told us that this was the place to go if we wanted to taste the rustic food of Alentejo. And so we went.
We were welcomed by Paula Patinho who owns the restaurant with her husband Francisco. Her mother cooks and her father makes the house wine. We were surprised by the menu prices: they were half of what we would have paid in Évora or Estremoz.
Francisco suggested that we start with “sopa de cação” (dogfish soup), continued with a tomato and fried meat soup, and ended with “lagartos,” thin strips of black pork grilled to perfection. The flavors are bold but harmonious perhaps because all the ingredients were local, cultivated in the same lands by the same people.
The house wine is staged in stainless steel. It tastes pure and smooth and pairs perfectly with the food.
We asked Francisco what makes the food taste so great. “There is a deceiving complexity to the cuisine of Alentejo,” he explained. “The preparations look simple but pushing the flavors to a higher level takes time and requires many ingredients.”
Our audacity was greatly rewarded. We discovered an inexpensive restaurant that does justice to the rich culinary tradition of Alentejo.
Serra d’Ossa is located on Rua Principal, 77, Aldeia da Serra D’Ossa, Redondo, tel. 266-909-037.