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Milk – To Nourish / Out Going / Gigi's in the Algarve, Portugal

Out Going Gigi's in the Algarve, Portugal
20th July 2012

Gigi's in the Algarve, Portugal

AUTHOR The Milk Maid
At the foot of a long wooden bridge that wiggles over the lagoons and dunes towards the beach of Quinta do Lago, there is nothing to indicate that a culinary charm is sitting on the horizon except a cluster of yellow parasols.

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On the edge of the beach is Gigi's, little more than a wooden decked shack with canary coloured parasols to shield the simple wooden picnic benches from the blistering Portugese sun. This is a restaurant without pretension or fanfare, the tables are laid with plastic matts alongside cutlery wrapped in paper napkins, a no frills, rustic approach to, what is without doubt, the finest seafood I've ever tasted. Freshly caught, jumping from the sea into the hands of Gigi's chefs before being seasoned minimally, cooked quickly and served with rice, salad and baked potatoes. It's the taste of the Algarve, an indulgent holiday lunch that washes down perfectly with a lightly blushed rose!

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Follow the delicious smells of garlic and butter into the very minimalist kitchen - a few stainless steal surfaces, sizzling hot open grills and basic utensils.

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On the way you may well meet Bernardo Reino (known more commonly as Gigi) as he pops out from behind the counter, all embraces and Portugese affections to make a fuss of his regulars who religiously return year after year. He wanders from table to table with arms open wide, hosting his restaurant with infectious happiness and overwhelming charisma.

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Gigi has been serving the most exquisite seafood for more than 20 years at his low key but highly desirable (it's near impossible to get a table in peak season) beach side restaurant. He sources the finest fish every day at early morning markets, working with the best fisherman and picking only their most brilliant catch.

Gigi's, Quinta do Lago, Algarve, Portugal
To book telephone: + 351 964 045178

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