A beachfront restaurant in Sesimbra, Espadarte offers dishes whose visual quality is matched only by their blandness, as well as that of the property as a whole.
For this second dinner in Sesimbra and delighted by my experience at O Batel, I confidently decide to eat at Espadarte. It’s the restaurant of a hotel that’s obviously quite premium on the waterfront and you can legitimately expect a certain level of quality, especially as it’s frequently mentioned in specialized sites and blogs about the region and has good reviews. Just keep in mind that at this time of year, not all properties were open either.
This is a Mediterranean cuisine restaurant that claims a certain sophistication without being gastronomic.
The setting of the restaurant
This is the restaurant of the SANA hotel, located close to the seafront.
As a result, a certain style is to be expected.
The restaurant is almost an extension of the lobby. It pretends to be warm with its wooden decor, but in fact I’ll keep the image of a canteen without much charm, worn, with a cold light.
Absolutely no charm.
It’s Mediterranean and Portuguese-inspired, with a focus on seafood.
No paper menus, just tablets.
It is, however, very limited.
I arrive at the restaurant and am greeted in rather hesitant English. They seat me at my table and bring me a tablet with the menu on it.
I look around: it lacks charm, it’s sad and the TV broadcasting a soccer match makes the place look a bit cheap.
I’m not asked if I’d like a drink, or if I’d like a “couvert” (in Portugal these are things to nibble on before the meal, systematically offered or even imposed and added to your bill). It’s the first time it’s happened to me.
The waiter finally comes to take my order and I take the opportunity to order a drink at the same time. But if I hadn’t, he wouldn’t have asked me if I wanted a drink!
The water is served to me in a tube glass, like in a nightclub. I’m asked if I’d like a glass for my wine…there’s already a wine glass on the table, couldn’t we use it?
I’m beginning to think I should have stayed at the hotel for dinner.
I’ll start with ceviche as a starter.
It’s quite pretty, even if the quantity served is quite small. It’s good and tasty, but the mango leaves a sweet aftertaste that I don’t really like.
The waiter, who’s a very nice guy by the way, neglects the almost empty room and takes long breaks in front of the soccer match. In fact, the two waiters are quite young, rather hesitant and totally on their own, lacking seniority to supervise them. I don’t blame them for anything, but the property lacks seriousness in leaving them like that.
Then I’ll have the codfish.
The presentation, again, is not bad at all. But the quantity is ridiculous, two small pieces of fish in the middle of potato slices… I think there were even more potatoes than fish.
The cod is salty but not too much, the cooking is very good, the sauce adds nothing and even spoils the taste of the dish. The end result is a rather plain dish that you can eat in 3 minutes.
For dessert, I’ll have a crème brûlée.
Another beautiful presentation. Very nice with cardamom and goat’s cheese ice cream. The only really good dish at this dinner.
I’ll finish with a coffee before running away.
Gloomy, cold, mortifying. Partly because we’re in low season, but I doubt the place would be much nicer in summer.
Smiling and pleasant, but not very confident. There’s a lack of supervision and professionalism.
Well-presented but bland dishes and small quantities, hesitant service, a dreary setting…a restaurant to visit only if you can’t find a seat elsewhere.
Articles about this trip to Portugal
|#1||Diary||Preparing my birthday trip to Portugal|
|#2||Flight||Paris Orly-Lisbon – TAP – Business Class – Embraer 195|
|#4||Restaurant||Zunzum Gastrobar, Lisbon|
|#5||Restaurant||Solar Dos Bicos, Lisbon|
|#7||Restaurant||O Frade, Lisbon|
|#8||Restaurant||100 Maneiras, Lisbon|
|#10||Diary||Lisbon day #1: downtown|
|#11||Diary||Lisbon day #2: Belem and beyond|
|#12||Hotel||Four Points by Sheraton Sesimbra|
|#13||Restaurant||O Batel Sesimbra|
|#15||Lounge||TAP Premium lounge Lisbon|
|#16||Flight||Lisbon-Paris Orly, TAP, Business Class, Airbus A330Neo.|
|#17||Diary||Debriefing of the trip to Lisbon and Sesimbra|