“About 11 km of silence and quiet characterize the Deserted Island, where everything seems to fit perfectly in between worlds as diverse as the land, sea, and air.” It is in this way that the official web site of the Municipal Chamber of Faro presents the Barreta island, popularly known as the Desert island, not to be inhabited, and by having only two or three small buildings, which includes the pier and the lighthouse.
The only access is done by boat, departing from Faro, via a small ferry boat, which is owned by the same company – Animaris – that, 31 years ago, makes the management of the restaurant Estaminé. In addition to the natural compliment to longevity is need to commend the courage of these entrepreneurs that keep the restaurant open throughout the year.
After the pleasant boat ride, with several indications about the fauna and flora of the ria Formosa, you arrive to the docks of the Deserted island and few steps after the Estaminé, which serves as a space to welcome you to the paradise. There’s restaurant, a boardwalk crosses the island up to leave the visitors a beach of fine sand and crystalline waters, a true postcard that seems to have come out of a film… in Addition to a large extension, which guarantees moments of complete communion with nature, there are some hats of the stem and sun loungers that can be rented.
Return to the restaurant, the Estaminé, seen from the sky, say the drawing of a crab. Built in wood, the need and the will, made with to develop solutions to “produce energy, produce drinking water and treat sewage”. At the table (most of the wood and with the support of banks accrued), the Estaminé is a compliment to the ria and the sea, and in a vision more wide, the magnificent cuisine of the algarve.
There is a menu “Snack bar” for those looking for lighter fare (sandwiches and salads) and snacks, with an emphasis to some of the most emblematic of the long history of the restaurant: Shrimp “to the beach” (€18), with crustaceans, peeled and breaded, accompanied by a mayonnaise (with spicy secret), Oysters from our Lagoon”, to the natural (€2), Muxama of tuna (€9) and Anchovies (anchovies) vinegar (€8). Snacks, accounts, made, represent a complete meal.
For those looking for a more in-depth knowledge about the cuisine of the Estaminé or simply a meal more complete, count on the aforementioned snacks, but also other entries that are tempting (and that only complicate at the time of choice): octopus Salad, Horsetails alimadas (€9), Gazpacho (€6), Estupeta de atum (€9), a salad, cold with tuna in brine, Clams bulhão Pato (€19), Choco island” (€17), breaded and served in strips with the same sauce of the shrimp breaded, and the always irresistible Carabineros (€20/unit), fried with garlic. After this feast, the more difficult it is to have space for the fish of the day, which vary according to the supply of the markets, that can be grilled, stewed in the pot or roast it in the oven, with the last two options require a minimum of two “volunteers” at the table. There is also a Linguadinhos fried with rice and coriander (€20), choquinhos or lulinhas, stewed with ink (€25). There are several side dishes to enhance the dishes, but even better is to ask for a refreshing Salada montanheira. Can also be lost by the vast supply of seafood of the day and take them up to the pot, preferably served with rice (Lobster, clams, razor fish or seafood). For those who want to celebrate the wonderful cuisine of the Algarve, feel the obligation to prove the Xerém seafood of the ria (€19).
Before or after, follow the walk by the bridge and let yourself be surprised by the beauty of the beach. Take home, on the return trip by the ria, the words of the team of the restaurant: “After all these years, we continue to work for you to be able to offer the same paradise as ever. And this, we assure you with pride.” Thank you, Estaminé, we would add…
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