Dan and I hosted our “rehearsal dinner” the night before our wedding at Quinta do Arneiro in Gradil, Portugal last summer! I have “rehearsal dinner” in quotes, because we did not actually have a wedding rehearsal (we winged it!); this was just a dinner the night before our wedding with all of our guests who were in town! The evening was fabulously fun, and Quinta do Arneiro was the most amazing venue that anyone can visit for a meal! Highly recommended!!
Quinta do Arneiro is a farm in Gradil, Portugal, the tiny town where we got married at another quinta – Quinta de Sant’Ana. Gradil is about 40 minutes from Lisbon and 25 minutes by car from Ericeira. We found Quinta do Arneiro by way of a lucky reference from our wedding venue!
Before firmly deciding on Quinta do Arneiro as our “night before” dinner venue, we definitely wanted to check it out, so last March we had Sunday brunch at Quinta do Arneiro. We emailed in advance to make a reservation and advised that we were looking at Quinta do Arneiro for dinner for a large party! It was raining when we arrived…but the weather much better at our wedding party (see the top photo!).
Upon arrival in March, it turns out that Quinta do Arneiro is actually a working farm that runs a small food shop and an organic restaurant. We arrived for brunch, and the restaurant was filled with other patrons – all Portuguese. We were seated in the main dining room, which, by the way, is absolutely gorgeous. Definitely one of the most beautiful restaurants that I have eaten at in Portugal (or elsewhere!). It has a farm chic feel with the most stunning green tiled kitchen in the background!
The daily menu at Quinta do Arneiro is all organic, featuring heavily plant-based and vegan foods, although there is usually a meat option available. The menu changes daily and for regular diners, its posted on a chalk board! For our rehearsal party, however, Quinta do Arneiro crafted a special menu just for us! For both meals, everything was served family style (except for our soups)!
When we visited in March, there was a set menu available for lunch at 25/person with meat, the vegetarian menu was slightly less expensive. Our lunch meal started out with a squash soup with some farm-grown vegetables and balsamic! Very, very delicious, and perfect for the rainy day on which we visited!
Second course was shared broccoli salad with fresh fruit, radishes, and cilantro. The presentation was beautiful and while it was quite healthy, really tasty!
Our main courses were two – a tofu and bock choi dish and a bean and quinoa dish! While we usually eat meat based dishes, both of these were amazing and sealed the deal on Quinta do Arneiro as our rehearsal dinner spot. I also got to try some of Quinta do Arneiro’s spicy red peppers. Definitely ask about them!
Our meal ended with an amazing gluten free “apple cobbler!” We ended up serving this again at our rehearsal dinner!
We really enjoyed our lunch, and we proceeded with booking our rehearsal dinner at Quinta do Arneiro shortly thereafter. For our rehearsal dinner, we rented out the entire property. Our evening started with a tour of the farm by the owner Mariana, a longer than an hour “happy hour” with a saxophonist, and then a 5 course dinner, all of which was totally amazing! Some of our guests still rank QDO’s beet risotto as one of their top dishes! I wrote all about it here, so rather than going into all of the specific details again are some highlights:
All in all, I would 100% recommend Quinta do Arneiro as a venue for a large party or even a wedding! The grounds are stunning and exceptionally well kept. The staff was also incredibly nice and decoratedQuinta do Arneiro to the nines when we arrived for our pre-wedding dinner (without any direction from us)!
STEAL OUR PARTY
Quinta do Arneiro: R. da, 2665-001 Azueira, Portugal. Closed Monday & Tuesday. Open Wednesday – Sunday 10h – 18h.
If you are interested in hosting your own private party at Quinta do Arneiro, contact Mariana! She was extremely helpful and pulled off an amazing evening for us and our guests!
Further, if you want to read more about Dan and my “rehearsal” dinner, you can read about it here!
ON A BUDGET
You can see the prices on the menu. As with most of Portugal, Quinta do Arneiro is not terribly expensive and the portion sizes are large. The most expensive part about a meal at Qunta do Arneiro is getting here, as there is no public transportation! We rented a car at the Lisbon airport, drove to Ericeira for the day and then stopped at Qunita do Arneiro on our way out of Ericeira back to Lisbon.