It took the recommendation of cool visiting friends from London for us to learn about and experience this delightful restaurant. Lagar da Mesquita is in the center of a very small village, just to the east of São Brás de Alportel on the way to Tavira. From the outside, Lagar da Mesquita is a nondescript traditional Portuguese structure; but step inside, to enjoy fresh Mediterranean cuisine in a modern ambiance.

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What was once a large olive mill (lagar) is now a popular modern restaurant. Austrian expat Gudrun Tschiggerl purchased the already-renovated mill and transformed it into a rustic and casual, yet sophisticated and cosmopolitan space for international dining and live entertainment.

Several distinct areas make Lagar da Mesquita a nice place to visit no matter your mood. A terrace and garden are ideal for summer lunches and warm Algarvian evenings. The inside dining room is open and spacious, with art from Azeitão artist Lina Vaz adorning virtually every niche and ledge. An airy central lounge features cushioned sofa and chairs, and grand piano. It’s a comfortable spot to spend your pre- or post-dinner hours.

Lagar da Mesquita Lagar da Mesquita

Chef Nelson Viegas is in the kitchen creating delicious Mediterranean-inspired dishes that don’t disappoint. Some favorites from our visit include:

■ Sautéed shrimps with garlic (200 g)
■ Gratinated goat cheese with black pepper, honey and mushroom
■ Homemade wild mushroom paté with Port wine, fig compote and toast

■ Harissa marinated tuna steak with fresh green beans and a black olive-cherry tomato salsa
■ Poached sole fillet stuffed with salmon mousse on sautéed spinach in a saffron-mussels sauce
■ Pan fried squid Algarvian style with roasted potato and seasonal salad
■ Pan fried guinea fowl breast with beans stew and glazed chestnuts
■ Lamb shank North African style with spices and roasted pumpkin
■ Venison loin with rosemary jus, celery-ginger purée, red cabbage and blueberry jam

■ Homemade lemon or mango cream
■ Homemade apple tart with vanilla ice-cream
■ Homemade tiramisú

The menu also features salads and pastas.

Lagar da Mesquita

Lamb shank North African style with spices and roasted pumpkin

Lagar da Mesquita is a little off the beaten path…but that’s what we think makes it so surprising and special. For more information, visit the Lagar da Mesquita Facebook page.

Lagar da Mesquita
Fonte da Mesquita
Mesquita Baixa 315ª
São Brás de Alportel
Algarve

Phone: +351 289 845 809
Email: info.lagardamesquita@gmail.com

Hours:
Tuesday to Saturday – 12:30 to 14:20 and 19:00 to 22:00
Sunday – 12:30 to 14:30

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