When we returned from our day in Sintra we asked our tour driver Victor Emmanuel if he knew of a traditional Portuguese restaurant. He told us about Casa da Mo which was located just around the corner from our hotel.
We headed over and stopped in front to see if we could read the menu. Mr. Raoul came out and introduced himself and pointed out where the English menu was. It looked good and the restaurant was lovely so we headed in. We were given a table along the right wall with a crisp white table cloth. The menu had all the names of the items in Portuguese but there were English subtitles, luckily for us.
We did indeed order the grilled sardines, six of them. Three of us had two each; Jim had the vegetable soup which he kept telling us was delicious. Eating sardines obviously is an art which we have not mastered. There are a lot of bones and you have to avoid the head and pull off the spine. Once you have done this they are not bad, as we say, it was a "once in a lifetime experience". I don’t think I will ever need to do it again.
For our entrees Joe and I had the salted cod with onion, Al had steak Portuguese style and Jim had the pork loin. The meals were all lovely. The cod did have some bones but only on the top, the rest of the fish was juicy and delicious. It was served with small boiled potatoes and a bath of olive oil. The steak came with fried potato slices and a slice of aged cured ham on top. The pork loin was a little spicy and came with boiled potatoes and haricot vert. All the meals were excellent and service was stellar.
Mr. Raoul and Al talked and determined that Al’s father came from the same area in Portugal as Raoul did. Before we knew it little complimentary glasses of Ginjinha the cherry schnapps were on our table and the dessert cart had mysterious relocated right alongside of us.
Joe and I tried traditional Portuguese desserts a plum cake and an egg cake. Jim had sliced fresh strawberries and Al had chocolate mousse which in Portugal is a rich and very dark variety. Followed by coffee in tiny cups and a cappuccino for me this was a very satisfying meal.
If you are looking for a good restaurant with traditional food and prices that won’t send you into sticker shock I highly recommend the Casa da Mo. By the way, a mo is a millstone and the original millstone is on the right as you come in the door. This restaurant has been around for over a hundred years and is very good at making your experience special. You will also see plenty of locals which is always a good sign.