Marie and Oli opened their artistic restaurant in Armação de Pêra last year in July and they have been residents in the Algarve for the last two years as prior to this Oli lived in Lisbon and Germany. The restaurant is easy to find as it is after the roundabout where Camping Praia de Armação de Pêra is located, so you will see this gem on the left-hand side and parking is accessible behind the restaurant. Their opening times are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 6pm onwards and on Saturdays and Sundays, they are open 1:30pm until 3:30pm and 6pm onwards.
Oli’s parents moved to the Algarve in 1986 and bought a place in Messines so he knows the region very well and his and Marie’s restaurant aims to cater to everyone and to surprise with unique Portuguese cuisine as well as international cuisine.
They offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes as Marie has been a vegetarian for 30 years and is a hobby chef in her own right, so due to her great love of food, she ensures that the vegetarian and vegan menu is nothing short of fantastic. Marie & Oli’s restaurant is honestly nothing short of five stars but with the great surprise - at affordable prices.
Oli is an incredible chef with 30 years’ experience and Marie is a lovely host who serves clients, making them feel very welcome and well taken care of.
Their food is all completely organic as their vegetables are mostly sourced from Covent Bio in Lagoa and they also source some of their produce from Horta da Torre in Silves and their meats are all regional and do not disappoint in quality, making their food a perfect combination of flavorsome and fresh and with unique flavours which compliment everything on the plate.
Marie and Oli are such friendly people and they were very welcoming, you can really tell they are very passionate about their food and making it perfect every time. The restaurant has a relaxed environment with chilled music playing as you enjoy your freshly prepared meal. All the food was brought over quite quickly so I did not have to wait long before I got to taste their great food. I also noted other families who were pleased with their food and were quick to praise the couple after their meals. Asides from being an incredible chef, Oli is also an artist and he displays his own work and sculptures as well other artists works in the restaurant, giving the inside of the restaurant a vibrant and unique feel. They also used to have live music but due to the pandemic this had to be paused but is something Oli told me he hopes to bring back once he is able to.
The outside seating area is particularly inviting and Marie and Oli pay attention to fine details which is emphasised by the way they give each table a different arrangement of fresh flowers. Giving it that unique touch that shows they really value each and every customer.
They make their own homemade bread like whole meal spelt bread which tastes delicious with their homemade dips, even creating a vegetarian mayonnaise and homemade hummus. For starters I enjoyed a beautifully presented platter of veggie and non-veggie bites which included vegetable tempura, octopus, chorizo and vegan chorizo which was my favorite and something I urge everyone to try because it tastes heavenly. After such a delicious starter, I really wanted to try something new so I dove head first into the Vegetarian Seitan Cordon Bleu which is filled with vegan chorizo and cheese, served with a tomato sauce and homemade potato and vegetable fries and salad. Even though I am not vegan, this really stunned me and something I would definitely eat again. In terms of their meat options, they have a wide variety of delicious options including MO’s “Mixed Grill” which includes black pork, chorizo, lamb and turkey au jus with oven veggies and potato wedges. They also do wonderful homemade burgers with buns made of spelt and beetroot and the beef was juicy and well-seasoned. For dessert, I tried a trio of desserts which was their famous banoffee pie which I can confirm was dreamy as well as a chocoholics dream which was a vegan chocolate tart with dates and roasted almonds and finally a refreshing dessert of seasonal fruit in a citrus soya yogurt cream with a spelt crumble. They also do vegan ice creams.
Overall, it was a fantastic experience and a foodie’s haven and I cannot fault them other than not knowing about them earlier so if you get the chance, please do visit this charming restaurant which boasts brilliant food. In my opinion it is the ideal place to take your family and friends as they have a variety of choices that are sure to delight everyone including a great children’s menu and fantastic homemade drinks and cocktails. Additionally, during the day on the weekends, they also plan to have a special surprise veggie platter and do a Sunday Roast. Please do kindly check Facebook for more updates and they would really appreciate if can call them on 282 322 635 to reserve your table or similarly you can message them directly for reservations. Their full menu can also be found on their Facebook page ‘Marie e Oli’s’.