When faced with the decision of trying something new, my family promptly recalled a recommendation from one of our dear friends that mentioned the restaurant of this promising young chef in a nearby village. Since it was close to our home, we decided why not and it was the best decision we could've made. Arrouquelas, in Rio Maior, is a small and quiet village filled with charming people and the restaurant was right in the middle, easy to spot from the street. Once inside we were greeted both by its stunning interior design and their warm and welcoming server to whom we spoke often throughout the dinner and the occasion so much more special. The first you notice, after you're done being wowed by the beauty and simplicity of their modern-meets-country design, is that kitchen is right there for you to see. The chef's area is open for anyone who wishes, like I did, to peek and see what was going on, and the chef himself often invited guests to see as if he was cooking in your own home. I think that's the beauty of the place, the way it can make you feel right at home. When presented with the menu, we were unsure of what to order, and since we're not used to gourmet, we always fear we'll order something we won't fully enjoy but our server quickly proposed we left it to the chef to pick our meal, and since we were feeling adventurous we all figured why not. This was also the best choice we could've made since what happened next was a party of elegance and divine flavors that left us stunned and longing for more. Unlike what we expected from lack of gourmet experience, the portions were perfectly sized and distributed, we even felt full in the end! We chatted back and forth with the chef, took pictures with him and his amazing food; we felt immediately at home and cared for. Maeluisa has definitely made themselves four new costumers and we will spread the word about this phenomenon hidden in the quaint village of Arrouquelas.
And trust me, leave it up to the chef when you visit!
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