If you read my series of wedding posts, you may know that I had lunch at Restaurant Nortada on the Atlantic coast of Portugal on a day trip to Sintra and Cabo da Roca from Ericeira. What you may not know, are how many restaurants that I looked at before choosing Restaurant Nortada! In any case, Restaurant Nortada was amazing and it was definitely the best choice!!
Restaurant Nortada is an upscale, pricey, seafood restaurant set in a GORGEOUS location between Sintra and Cabo da Roca in Praia Grande. There is no question about any of those adjectives. Restaurant Nortada was recommended to me by a tour company, Tours by Jorge, and I was initially put off and thought this was “referral” scheme. But, it turns out it wasn’t and Nortada was truly an excellent experience that I recommend.
Nortada is located about 20 minutes west of Sintra and 20 minutes north of Cabo da Roca, right on the Atlantic Ocean. Due to its location and the few restaurants in this part of Portugal, Nortada really makes a good lunch stop. Upon parking, the restaurant does not seem like much. Its really in a building on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.
However, upon entering, the restaurant is really great! There restaurant is in two parts – indoor and outdoor. Aim for the outdoor area or a window if you can – the views of the Atlantic Ocean are awesome! Also, there are tons of tanks and fresh seafood in the restaurant from which you can choose your lunch! Its actually very common to pick which fish you want not just from the menu, but also from the tank and/or cooler. Of course, the restaurant will pick it out for your if you prefer!
Since were visited Nortada on a tour of 30, I choose a pre-set meal for the restaurant to serve at a set price per person. The tour included four courses and unlimited wine and water. I had been working with the restaurant for a couple months beforehand (hey, 30 is a big reservation) and the restaurant had the most beautiful set up for our group on its terrace! The weather was warm with a slight breeze and absolutely perfect for a late Sunday lunch.
Our First course, which was ready when we arrived, was the standard “couvert,” which consisted of bread, butter, a tuna spread, olives, and fresh goat cheese drizzled with peppers. It also came with Portuguese red and white wine! Since this was most people’s last proper meal in Portugal, everyone was ready to indulge.
For our second course, we were served a fabulously fresh octopus salad. The octopus was chopped into small bites, drizzled with olive oil, and tossed with onion and a few peppers. Excellent starter course. I would absolutely order this again!
For our main course, Nortada really went above and beyond and prepared a huge vat (for lack of a better word) of Arroz de Marisco (a/k/a Portuguese rice), a famous Portuguese dish similar to Spanish paella. The Arroz de Marisco was terribly delicious and was packed with clams, shrimp, and lobster, among other seafood, in a red sauce. Seriously, huge chunks of lobster! It was delicious. Everyone seemed to really enjoy this dish!
For dessert, Restaurant Nortada had planned to serve brownies and fresh fruit but, since I picked up a local dessert in Sintra, they only served the fruit at our request. Restaurant Nortada did, however, serve the desserts that we picked out in Sintra! Very nice!
After lunch, everyone explored the outdoor area and took some pictures by the beach! After having a lovely lunch here, I would absolutely return and recommend Nortada to other travelers. I would note, however, that Restaurante Nortada is on the pricey side for inexpensive Portugal. Particularly, our meal was €35,00/person (but totally worth the price, especially in hindsight!). The menu is also heavily seafood. There are a few non-seafood options, but this is definitely a seafood spot!
STEAL OUR TRIP
Restaurante Nortada: Avenida Alfredo Coelho 8 – Praia Grande, Sintra. Reservations are recommended, especially if you want to sit outside! We easily made them by emailing the restaurant at geral@RestauranteNortada.com. The restaurant was very responsive and helpful.
Tour by Jorge: Tour company offering tours in and around Lisbon, Portugal. Very responsive and reasonable in price. Jorge was instrumental in assisting me in planning my day trip to and from Sintra.
ON A BUDGET
In inexpensive Portugal, Restaurant Nortada is not budget friendly. Definitely splurge worthy, however. If you are on a budget, pick up something quick in Sintra or bring a snack to eat along the side of the road. Surprisingly, the restaurant at Pena Palace in Sintra is not terribly expensive and serves hearty meals.