Bela Vista Restaurant, Odeleite, Portugal

Odeleite village
This is one of our absolute favourite restaurants. Food: great, Service: great, View: great. What more can you ask for?!

Besides their regular menu, they have daily specials and we do our best to try as many new things as possible. But our absolute favourite meal there is served on a Tuesday and is Pernil no fourno, which is Portuguese for Pork shank baked in the oven.
Pork shank
The meat literally falls off the bone and then melts in your mouth. The skin was also partially crispy, which is a real treat. (You never get skin served in France and even when one tries to order pork meat with skin on at the butcher, they just don’t understand what you want.) It comes with a delicious gravy/sauce with garlic and carrots, rice and chips. Yes, rice and chips. This is a Portuguese tradition that I love as I love both carbs equally. My Hubby does without the rice in the hope of more chips but this isn’t always successful!

Pork shank
It was actually more than I could eat so I took the rest home. Probably could have managed it if we hadn’t had the “starters”. Often in Portugal, they bring you olives, bread and cheese with or without being asked. If you eat it, you pay for it, if you leave it, you don’t. I highly recommend eating the cheese (and the rest too!). It’s a soft goats cheese which has a gentle flavour, not the strong flavour one sometimes gets from goats milk cheese. It’s just perfect.

As crazy as it sounds to comment about the bread and olives, but they are great too. Not all restaurants have really good bread, but they do! And the house wine is cheap and really good. Of course, I only drank both white and red just so that I could tell you all about it…I take my job seriously ;)

The restaurant is situated on the Odeleite Dam in the town of Odeleite. It’s a beautiful spot and I avoided the restaurant at first as I thought they might charge for the view as well as the food, but they don’t. The dam is really low at the moment as the east Algarve is still experiencing a major drought, but it’s still beautiful.
Tuna belly steaks
This is a local Portuguese restaurant for locals and us wannabee locals, so don’t be expecting starched tablecloths and upholstered chairs. There are plastic chairs, but I don’t eat out because I want to taste the chairs. It’s all about the food and the food here is really great. We’ve been several times and never had a disappointing meal. We had tuna belly once which was sooooooooo good. Got to pull myself away from the shank next time…or not!

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