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Posted by portugalpress on April 13, 2018
Bovino Restaurant and its impressive décor
Parrilla Natural
Parrilla Natural
Parrilla Natural specialises in Uruguayan meat
The Wolf Bar & Grill serves Black Angus from the USA and Argentina
The Wolf Bar & Grill

Where to eat out in style and enjoy the best steaks in the Algarve

The steakhouse phenomenon started in the USA and has spread around the world over the last decade or so. Restaurant chains such as Morton’s The Steakhouse, with over 60 outlets in the States and outposts around the world, redefined the concept of the steakhouse to a premium dining experience where steak is the star. In London, restaurants such as Mash and Hawksmoor raised the bar further and, these days, premium steakhouses are an essential part of the restaurant scene in any destination that has a restaurant scene.

This is all quite surprising, given the global movement towards healthier eating, but the growth in the steakhouse phenomenon is showing no sign of abating, and the Algarve has not been left behind.

Many of the Algarve’s best international restaurants are to be found around Almancil, Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo. And whilst this article is supposedly about dedicated steakhouses, it would not be complete without mention of Restaurant Florian, just outside Quinta do Lago, where chef/owner Piet Warink sources some amazing Chuleton beef chops from northern Spain and top-quality Hereford Black Angus fillet from Ireland, and grills them to perfection over charcoal on his Big Green Egg.

But back to steakhouses, in Quinta do Lago itself, within the old Casa Velha farmhouse building is Bovino. An impressive interior design project sets the scene for prime Irish beef, dry-aged, and expertly grilled. The two-person Bovino Cuts Experience combines, as the name suggests, various different cuts and is a favourite amongst regulars.

Parrilla Natural, located between Almancil and Vale do Lobo, specialises in Uruguayan meat, imported directly by the restaurant’s owners, who have their own speciality butcher shop in Almancil. Here, the steaks are cooked in traditional South American style over wood embers. Open all year round, the restaurant is a conversion of a charming old villa, with a romantic indoor dining room and a large terrace for al fresco dining. Parrilla is part of the Natural group, which also comprises its sister restaurant, Gourmet Natural – another great steakhouse, open during the summer season.

In Almancil, the most recent addition to the Algarve’s stable of steakhouses is Butchers, not such a luxury option as the last two mentioned and totally informal in ambience, but a serious steakhouse serving high-quality cuts mostly from Argentina, alongside US Black Angus and others.

Moving a little along the coast to Vilamoura, the best place to eat steak is at Pepper’s, located within the Tivoli Marina Hotel. Here the steaks are cooked over a high-end gas/lava rock grill and the restaurant stands out as the only one amongst those selected for this article that serves Portugal’s very own premium beef. DOP (protected designation of origin) beef from Mirandesa, in northern Portugal, and Mertolenga, in the Alentejo, are served alongside prime international cuts.

Elsewhere in the Algarve, there is no shortage of restaurants serving good quality steak these days, but the only other dedicated steakhouse that makes the cut for this article is The Wolf Bar & Grill, in Praia do Carvoeiro. Here, the X-factor is a Josper Grill, the king of charcoal barbecues, and most of the beef served is Black Angus, either from the USA or Argentina, with regular daily specials chalked up on the blackboard.

And finally, if you are looking for the best quality beef to cook at home, we recommend The Natural Meat Company in Almancil for Uruguayan. Another top choice is the sausage shop and butcher in Porches belonging to Vila Vita Parc, where they sell the excellent beef from their own cattle at the Herdade dos Grous estate in the Alentejo. And for the best variety, with everything from US Black Angus to Argentina sirloin and real Japanese Wagyu, look no further than Apolónia Supermarkets.

Contacts:
Bovino: 289 007 863
Parrilla Natural: 289 350 040
Butchers: 289 356 196
Pepper’s: 289 303 303
The Wolf Bar & Grill 962 708 596

By PATRICK STUART

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