Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Monday, 22 February 2016

Pensão Sisudo – a great discovery in Almoçageme (Portugal)

The ever changing Praia da Adraga beach – photos from previous years

Yesterday we planned to have Sunday lunch at the excellent fish restaurant at Praia da Adraga. Unfortunately we had neglected to book, which was foolish given that it was a lovely day which had naturally attracted people to the coast. When we arrived around 1.30 pm we were told that we might be lucky and get a table around 4pm.

After a short walk on the beach we decided that more than two hours was too long to wait for lunch, and remembering that our talkative taxi driver from Sintra had pointed out a good restaurant – Pensão Sisudo – as we passed through Almoçageme, the village above Praia da Adraga, we walked up the hill to the village and got a table for four in Pensão Sisudo, which turned out to be a great discovery. It has been going since 1953. Apparently we were lucky as the restaurant is usually busy on a Sunday, so it is best to book. 

Here we enjoyed a warm welcome and great home cooking but with a modern twist plus an interesting wine list including local wines – some even from here in Almoçageme village and several from Colares.   

Pots and pans outside the restaurant

The meal
We shared three petiscos – the Portuguese version of tapas: tempura prawns over a delicate curry sauce, tempura beans and Brás ao Farinheira (a delicious mix of scrambled egg, potato, onion and salt cod). Then we all opted for the dish of the day a very generous and delicious lamb shank with greens and excellent chips. All of our dishes were really excellent.


Brás ao Farinheira
  Delicious and generous slow roasted lamb shank

We started with a bottle of white Corvus (12€), which comes from vines close to the village so this may well be the most westerly vineyard in mainland Europe. This crisp, attractively fruity wine is a blend of Fernão Pires, Malvasia and Chardonnay from vines grown only 1.5 kilometres from the Cabo do Roca, the western extremity of mainland Europe.       

Deciding that the red had to come from nearby Colares, we opted for a 2006 Ramisco, Collares from Viúva Gomes (25€) in a 50cl bottle, whose winery is in Almoçageme. Ramisco is virtually found only in Colares where, because of the sandy soils, the vines have never suffered from the attacks of phylloxera so remain ungrafted. The sandy soils prevent the phylloxera louse from building tunnels to get at the roots of the vines. Although the DOC is spelt with a single 'l' – Colares – wines from Viúva Gomes consistently opt for a double 'll' – Collares.

The 2006 was excellent and complex – deep coloured, herbal, spicy and slightly earthy. It was a very good match with our lamb. 

2014 Corvus Branco Fernão Pires, Malvasia and Chardonnay, Vinho Regional Lisboa
from José Humberto Nunes Corvo

2006 Collares or Colares, Viúva Gomes

Permanent exhibition of fascinating 
black and white photos by Rui Palha

We will surely go back.  

Pensão Sisudo, Lg Miguel Bombarda, 14 Almoçageme, 2705-029 Colares, Portugal. Tel: 219-291-507, email: Closed on Mondays. Sunday lunch during winter, Sunday dinner during the summer.  

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