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Saturday, January 1, 2022

Santa Barbara de Nexe: GrandMama Mia ... That's Delicious, Authentic Italian!

La Piazza (Italian)
R. Vicente Brito 8005-491 
Santa Barbaran de Nexe (Faro) Portugal
Call: 289 999 430
Website: N/A
Prices: €€€€
I visited Santa Barbara de Nexe for the first time when the contractor we hired to remodel our Olhão apartment took me there to select a gas cooktop for our new kitchen. I found the small town quiet and quaint, but, otherwise, never gave it too much thought.
While reading an article in The Portugal News about an upcoming Deep Purple concert and an interview with lead singer and song writer Ian Gillan, he mentioned that his 'favourite restaurant in the world' is La Piazza in Santa Barbara de Nexe, so I had to try it ...

PROS

- The owners are from Italy and it is a 100% authentic, Italian, family operation - mom and dad were in the kitchen with son Fabio and his lady friend serving
- The restaurant is large and comfortable with a big wood-burning stove, so it was nice a toasty on a chilly winter night
- The menu has a nice selection of antipasti (starters), pizze (pizzas) primi (first dishes - pastas), secondi (second dishes - meat/fish), contorni (vegetables/potatoes), and dolci (sweets) at reasonable prices
- The Caprese Salad (€7.95) was very good, Funghi alla Crema (€7.95), and the accompanying bread crusty and fresh
- I had the Vitello alla Milanese (€18.50), coming with a side of spaghetti bolognese - the cutlets were delicious and tender, the spaghetti perfectly al dente, and the bolognese molto buono ... HOOAH!
- My wife ordered an entree size portion of the Tortelloni al Burro e Salvia (butter and sage - €9.95), her favorite, and she was a very happy camper - I concured
- My son went for the Vitello all Pizzaiola (veal cutlets in a tomato sauce - €18.50) - just like my Nona Tomasina used to make ... GRAND MAMA MIA!
- The homemade Tiramisu (€4.95) and Fondente al Cioccolato (€4.95) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream were a perfect conclusion to my 65th birthday dinner ... Grazie a tutti voi!





CONS

- Having tried, as always, to provide a balanced review, I really had to think hard to come up with anything that could use improvement
- The large wood stove was nice in terms of warmth and ambiance, but it did get a tad too warm at times
- A large group of around 15 arrived well after we were seated, but their drinks and starters arrived much sooner than ours - Fabio and his lady friend could have probably used an extra hand or two that night
- It would have been a nice touch had someone on staff, at least, wished me a happy birthday

Turns out that La Piazza is not the only great restaurant in tiny Santa Barbara de Nexe with a former Michelin-star restaurant (now Michelin Guide recommended) as well as a highly rated French restaurant and others located in the area, making Santa Barbara the 'Culinary Capital of the Algarve' ... OOH-RAH!

CombatCritic Gives La Piazza 9 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!
Nine Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "U.S. Marine Response To A Verbal Greeting Or As An Expression Of Enthusiasm"

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

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Read Chris S.'s review of Restaurante La Piazza on Yelp

La Piazza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Title: Santa Barbara de Nexe: GrandMama Mia ... That's Delicious, Authentic Italian!

Key Words: La Piazza, Italian, Rua Vicente Brito, 8005-491, Santa Barbara de Nexe, Faro, Portugal, 289 999 430, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

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