Our waiter Andre guides us into the main dining room, filled with autumnal colours and soothing lighting, making it an easy place to get comfortable as we are served a selection of dishes from the menu which includes all the pasta, risotto and pizza dishes expected at an Italian restaurant and also fish, meat and chefs specials.
The prices in the restaurant are reasonable, with pizzas starting at under €10 and starters from as little as €2.90 and the choice is good with fish, meat and vegetarian options also available.
We began our meal with the mixed appetiser platter to share, and there was certainly more than enough for two hungry people on the beautifully presented platter, stacked with cured meats, bruschetta and vegetables, easing us into the full Italian feeling and demonstrating that this really is the perfect place to come with friends and family to enjoy an informal meal where you can really roll your sleeves up.
As we had asked our waiter Andre and Chef Vitor to bring out a selection of their favourites, we were pleasantly surprised to then be presented with a warm bowl of garlic mushrooms before the chefs suggestion of the prawn risotto. The risotto was cooked to perfection, rich and creamy and most importantly, filled with succulent prawns, bringing a real depth of flavour and the ideal choice on a crisp autumn evening.
While pizza and pasta are firm favourites on the menu, Chef Vitor wanted to also highlight the Mediterranean inspired dishes, and the star of the show had to be the sea bream served elegantly with new potatoes, courgette, cauliflower and a green pea puree. The balance of the seasoning with the delicate fillet of fish worked perfectly and this fish dish had to be one of the highlights of the evening.
Next up we were treated to an oven roasted lamb shank, marinated in red wine and served with vegetables, a dish that Andre says is one of the most popular with the international guests who frequent the restaurant on a regular basis.
Other meat choices on the menu include a chicken piri-piri (we are in Portugal after all!), Portuguese steak and grilled fillet steak while fish lovers can choose from golden bream fillet with chop suey vegetables and noodles or grilled tiger prawns. Children are also not left out with smaller portions of pizza and pasta available alongside chicken nuggets, fish fingers and grilled chicken breast for those who are not yet ready to venture onto the main menu and with prices starting under €6.
After such a feast it was time for a small break with a seat in the gardens under the twinkling lights before on to the final round of delicious desserts. Andre served up a moist and light homemade Tiramisu and a perfectly proportioned chocolate petit gateau, both beautifully presented and served with ice cream and coffee to finish.
Restaurant Trattoria Oliveira may be tucked away from the main town of Carvoeiro but it is worth seeking out to find reasonably priced, good quality food, perfect for family and friends to enjoy together.
Trattoria Oliveira is currently open for breakfast and dinner, for further information or to make a reservation, please call 282 099 669 or visit their website here.