Food and Wine in the Alentejo: A Maria Restaurant

We don’t usually recommend restaurants, but the restaurant A Maria in the town of Alandroal in Portugal’s Alentejo region is an exception. We had lunch there this week with Hugo Carvalho, Bacalhoa’s winemaker in the Alentejo. He makes Quinta do Carmo and several other top quality wines in the region, which we enjoyed with the lunch. A Maria offers authentic, top quality Alentejo cuisine. We started off with several petiscos (the Portuguese version of tapas), main courses of partridge, black pig with a rich flavor coming from its acorn diet, and duck in red wine sauce, followed by the rich egg-based desserts for which Portugal is justly famous. And don’t worry, if you can’t decide, Maria will decide for you. In our case, she insisted on giving us a rich Alentejo soup to start off the meal. It was delicious but a meal in itself. For a recent New York Times article on the food and tourism in the Alentejo, including a recommendation for A Maria, see this article.

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