The Lighthouse is Gone, But the Seafood Brings People Here:
Our first night in Portugal and we’re having a seafood treat at “O Farol“, a restaurant in Cacilhas. To get to this restaurant we catch a local commuter ferry from Cais do Sodré, Lisbon’s transport hub, from where buses, the metro, trains and the ferries depart.
On a warm summer’s evening, the ferry ride is very pleasant. Cacilhas is just on the other side of the Tagus river and before we even think about a gin and tonic, we’ve arrived.
O Farol is a local restaurant specializing in seafood and the cooking here is more traditional in style.
The food is fresh and delicious and a stream of different dishes arrive. We’re all too busy digging into the food, not worrying what the dishes are called, but certainly there was Arroz de Marisco, vongole, gamba cozida, ameijoas, caranguejo and some seafood soup. The sardine pate that comes with the bread is very nice.
The bar here is very well stocked but tonight we try the white vinho verde “green wine” with our seafood. Vinho verde is from the Minho region and the white wine is dry, a little fizzy and has only 9.5% alcohol content.
O Farol is quite a large restaurant and looking around the pretty full room, the diners are mostly locals. There are a couple of television screens in the place and a live soccer match is being televised.
Soccer is serious business in Portugal and restaurant owners know that the only way to get people to come into the restaurant during a big match is to bring the match to the diners.
The “Farol” has been a brewery for over 100 years and is the oldest in the district of Setúbal and has a reputation for good beer. The restaurant got its name Farol from a lighthouse that used to exist in Cacilhas. The lighthouse once guided the navigation of small boats (called cacilheiros) in the area. If you look at the azulejos panel at the back of the restaurant, it has a picture of the lighthouse.
Cacilhas is on the bank of the Tagus river and O Farol is just by the ferry-terminal and is easy to find. We thoroughly enjoyed our seafood feast which is a good start to the holidays. The restaurant serves meat dishes as well, but if you like seafood, you’ll enjoy a meal at O Farol.
Largo Alfredo Dinis, nº1 Cacilhas