The winding road beyond the village of Alenquer is believing, in the evening, that the near to far becomes. The trip from the centre of Lisbon with destination to the restaurant Páteo Velho, in the Watchtower, in the picturesque parish of the suction Cup lasts for about 45 minutes. Upon arrival, Emilia Veloso – best known for Milá –, co-owner of the restaurant, declines any type of ceremony. The environment of this space, re-opened in November 2017 after three months of absence, is laid-back and, at the same time, intimate.
Where before the walls were covered in tones less sober, now dominates the white in contrast with the three screens of vivid colors – two of which were made-to-measure tables set up next to the same – of the authorship of the artist from lisbon João Paramés, in addition to the wood panels ripped on opposite walls. On the ceiling of this restaurant for almost 25 years, the wooden beams recovered give the air of his grace.
On the back wall of the restaurant Páteo Velho (Rua 25 de Abril, 25, Ventosa, Alenquer. Tel. 263 760 466), the wine cellar is rich in wines from Alenquer denounces, by the positive, the complicity with the producers of the county. Are there “represented” 22 manufacturers and more than 70 references vínicas, which are the result of a joint work between Milá Veloso and an old friend and client of the house, John Oak, the small producer, of the earth and mentor of Vitis Route, a project that was born based on the best of both worlds in the county: the wine and the food. “The idea is that the wine was not a problem”, it assumes the co-owner of the restaurant, so that you have “very good price” and 80 percent of the references are sold by the glass. In addition, the bottles can be purchased at an affordable price for those who choose the Páteo Velho for a meal. The reason for this focus is not only on the strengthening of partnerships with the producers of wine places, as also in the fact that Alenquer was one of the municipalities to win the candidacy for European City of Wine in 2018, to the side of Torres Vedras.
Soul taken care of by the eclectic legacy of the god Bacchus, who accompanied the meal, each one with a brief presentation made by João Carvalho, go to the stomach and stand in the hands of José Martyrs (passed by 100 Ways, and by Bica do sapato, in Lisbon, by the Caste 85, in Alenquer, he returned to Lisbon to work alongside the chef Alexandre Silva, on the Market of Ribeira, and he was in the Praia D’el Rey Marriot Golf & Beach Resort, in Óbidos). The new and young chef of 33 years, native of the municipality of Alenquer, came to give a new breath to the kitchen of the Páteo Velho, whose team is completely new – with the exception of the restaurant staff.
Full of snacks and dishes that are shared by the memories of the most ancient, the menu unfolds in a paraphernalia of suggestions worthy of a good fork prepared mainly with local products, in alignment with the investment made in relationship to wine. For a start there are two butters – one with chorizo, another with herbs and the flavored olive oil (€1,50), olives marinated in herbs of the field (€0,70) and the basket of bread, seeds and wheat bread, both made in the village and corn bread in thin slices (€2).
In the share register 11 snacks, from the “Eggs ruptured with shrimp sautéed” (€8), which “have been a success”, the “Octopus fried in corn flour with mayonnaise, herbs and garlic” (€5,50), passing by the “Tongues of cod and chips with your mayonnaise” (€4,50).
Anyone who so wishes, can pass through the “caldinhos” (creams and soup) or jump to the flavors marine. The “Cod ” Páteo Velho” (€9) or the “Chips of cod from Iceland bread with crispy prosciutto on a bed of crushed” (€14) are classics of the restaurant with 20 years, in which chef José Martyrs does not put the spoon, and only two of the six fish dishes. Already at the table, was the “Cataplana of fish and seafood” (€23 for two people) that has awakened the senses of those present won by the aromas and by firing at the point.
The prado remains the “duck Rice to the Páteo Velho” (€10,50), another of the older recipes of the house. The remaining six dishes of meat are worth by the variety and the comfort of so-called “food pot” so appealing in the winter days, as the sirloin steak, the duo of suckling pig, roasted lamb, the pork cheeks or the “Wellington partridge with pureed chestnuts and sautéed mushrooms” (€14,50).
In response to the latest trends to the table, there’s good news from the field, between the “Risotto grilled Portobello mushrooms” (€11), the “Tagliatelle napolitana with sautéed vegetables” (€9,50) and the “Gnochi with cheese of goat of the Maçussa and sautéed mushrooms” (€12), the famous cheese produced in the homonymous village, on the west side of Azambuja.
To accompany the cuisine of the Páteo Velho has eight suggestions, among which are the crunchy and addictive “the Bark of French fries sauce with truffle” (€1,80), indicated also to entertain the palate while waiting for the next course, as the Lizard, the black pork (€9) or the Secret of black pork (€11) of Estremoz, two of the only products from outside the region, more specifically in that small town that, from the beginning, if it remains in the charter of this restaurant Atalaia, according to Paul Caiano Santos, the husband of Milá Veloso and co-owner of the restaurant Páteo Velho.
The sky there is, for its time, six desserts, the section of the letter whose authorship was due to Maria Albertina, the mother of Milá Veloso, with the hands of a fairy in which the pastry is concerned, the area whose dedication does not waive, and whose time is destined while he remained behind the scenes of this restaurant. Without further ado, keeps up the tradition of the “Bacon-of – Heaven” (€3,50), the delicious “Páteo Velho” (€3,50) – inspired by the previous, with the difference that the almonds are prepared with the bark – and the “Pudding with walnuts” (€3,50), which continue to fill up the measures of the vetustos clients Páteo Velho, but also Milá Veloso, who considers them “candy seriously!” The “Delight”chocolate (€4), the “Petit gateau with berries and ice cream” (€4), as well as the “Cheesecacke wild fruits” are, in turn, the news brought by the head of the land to the kitchen of this building, in times past, connected to the labora, outside inherited by António Veloso, father Milá Veloso, with just after you pass the barrier of the 20 years if started in the recovery with this Páteo Velho.
Today, the Páteo Velho is, of right, recognized by the locals and outsiders who have already heard of and/or have been sitting at the table of the Restaurant the Order of Physicians, in the Portuguese capital, whose kitchen is in your hands since the end of 2013.
Back to the departure home, in the Watchtower, the restaurant 58 seats, which is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 12h00 to 16h00 and from 19h00 to 23h00 and on Sundays from 12h00 to 16h00, time during which it’s very much worth to have lunch or dinner without turning of the clock hands well away from the hustle and bustle of the city, although if recommend a reservation.
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