Where did you have your favourite meal and what did you have?
After a delay in Graciosa, we only had a short time on the island of Terceira and had an early start the next day with a 7am flight back to Sao Miguel. So, despite the tired legs we ventured along the seafront of Angra do Heroismo and came across the delightful Captain’s Table restaurant. Tempted by the offerings written on the blackboard outside,we entered through the small red door and were pleasantly surprised to find a few free spare tables in this quirky family-run restaurant. To herald our arrival, a small dog in a basket in the corner, barked as if to say ‘hello, come on in and make yourself comfortable’. As well as the eclectic decorations, the aromas coming from the kitchen made us feel very welcome - tired legs were now replaced with expectant stomachs. The owner/chef was Turkish and also a keen sailor and his menu reflected both his Turkish origins and seafaring travels. You know you’ve stumbled across a good restaurant when the choices on the menu leave you struggling to make up your mind. After much consternation and recommendations from the waitress, I chose the 40 day-aged beef, served on crusty bread with a garlic sauce for a starter, followed by the most delicious, tender lamb (my thoughts and taste buds were back on the Greek island of Kefalonia). As much as my eyes and taste buds were crying out for the homemade chocolate mousse, my overly satisfied belly, was having none of it. This was something I would regret later. I could have truly stayed here all evening (not just to try and make room for the dessert) but the restaurant had a lovely, homely ambience with the chef coming out to talk to his guests not only about the food but to regale stories of his many sailings from the Azores to the UK and Mediterranean.
Back at the hotel with my 4.30am alarm call looming and struggling to sleep, all I could think of was the chocolate mousse.
My second favourite meal was dinner at the ‘A Colmeia’ restaurant in the Do Colegio Hotel, Sao Miguel. As a rule, when visiting any new destination, I try to eat out at local restaurants to get a real 'flavour' of the area. On this ocassion, the hotel's restaurant (which is also open to the public), came very highly recommended. It was Friday evening and the restaurant was very busy but we were able to get a table just next to the indoor courtyard swimming pool. The waiters and waitresses were every friendly and attentive and talked you through the whole menu. Again, with too much choice, a large vodka and tonic was called for to help me make up my mind. Having never tried octopus, I was tempted to try the octopus and white beans encased in filo pastry and was pleasantly surprised at the delicate flavour combination. For my main course I chose the seafood risotto, after all, if you're staying on an island in the middle of the Atlantic, the fish has got to be good. This was proving to be a popular choice as many of the tables around us had opted for the same. It was nicely presented, as were all the dishes and was served in an earthenware dish on a wooden board. The risotto was perfect. A rich, creamy texture with a subtle taste and aroma of the ocean, topped off with crisp goujons of squid. I could have easily eaten that again but tonight I wasn't going to deny myself dessert. There really was only one choice for me and it had to include chocolate. Not only did my dessert include chocolate, it also had pineapple, coconut, a soft biscuit crumb all topped off with a rich, hot chocolate sauce. Job done!