Another one of my favourites which continues to metamorph on a regular basis. A name you will not recognise until you visit the bar café in the airport departure lounge. Americo’s is owned by a Cape Verdian family. Recently refurbished during the summer of 2017 for the third time that I can recall, they reopened their doors at Christmas 2017.
The restaurant boasts a contemporary look and feel with brushed concrete ceilings, suspended wooden struts and chandeliers. All the staff are well presented, welcoming and attentive, all seemingly proud in what they do. The Americo’s restaurant has always been a great restaurant in all the years I have been coming here.
Grilled Pink Lobster
Watching the faces of the diners around the restaurant, there was that ‘wow’ look of pleasure when any lobster dish was served, followed by the obligatory Instagram food shot on the phone camera. Personally I’m not a huge fan of lobster. I’ll eat it, perhaps as part of a seafood platter or table d’hote menu but it wouldn’t be my first choice on a menu. But hey, that’s just me!
The lobster being served within the restaurant did however, look fantastic. Price of the Lagosta Rosa Grelhada, is 5,500CVE per KG or being around £45 if paying in CVE or £49 if paying in Euro.
Filet Mignon Na Pedra
Simply translated, steak on the stone and a firm favourite, the dish of choice whenever I visit. First time I experienced steak on the stone was the Pistenklause Restaurant in the village of Nurberg, petrol head Mecca for the renowned Nuerburgring. A knee jerk menu choice of any carnivore.
Here, you will be served three mouth watering fillets to cook to your preference, accompanied with dips of ketchup, mayonnaise and salt. Sliced garlic and a sprig of rosemary are included as extra seasoning as desired. A basket of crispy fries are served alongside and if you ask, a selection of vegetables, including the most tastiest baby tomatoes I have ever eaten.
To cook, my recommendation is to sprinkle a little olive oil onto the stone to stop the meat sticking, then place a fillet onto the stone, turning in a minute or so. What I find works well, is then to slice the meat on the stone, eating the less bloodied slices first while you continue to cook the remaining to your palate. This ensures you cook the meat to your liking and it always remains hot to the taste.
When I asked for the wine menu, the waiter stated they were still being printed as the restaurant had only reopened four days prior. However, all the wines were displayed on a wine rack on the wall and I was invited to look.
All wines I saw were red and would obviously pair nicely with the steak. I did see a bottle of Chã Fogo Branco being served and hence Tinto must be on the menu, but let’s try something different. All wines looked to be imported Portuguese and having been served some pretty nasty bin ends of Portuguese wines on the islands in the past, I was nervous. There was one label I did recognise and that was the Grilos. I asked the waitress how much and she replied 2,000CVE.
I don’t normally do this, but as the restaurant had WiFi, I opened my Vivino App and punched in ‘Grilos’ and selected the year 2014. The Grilos Dão Tinto was rated 3.6/5.0 with an average price of £12.61 (1,600CVE) and good reviews. Perfect!
Certainly a fish and meat eatery, local delicacies of Percebes and Cracas are on offer too, including typical fish of the day and fish kebab dishes. But I think you’ll be coming to Americo’s for the lobster, steak offerings, tiger prawns, seafood risotto or Polvo (Octopus) à Lagareiro.
Lagareiro is a style of cooking fish which has many variants but typically ends in dressing the fish generously with extra virgin olive oil after grilling or roasting. Lagareiro is the owner of an olive oil press.
Certainly a popular restaurant this evening and we were worried if we would get a table. We shouldn’t have anxious as there is a small waiting area upstairs where you are invited to wait while tables are turned. No more than five minutes and we were sitting down.
The address of Americos is Rua Um De Junho, Ilha do Sal, 0078 Cape Verde. Telephone +238 242 10 11 and the location finder What3Words being fingertip.cabbages.routine, which will take you to the entrance located to the side of the building.
Rated the 22nd best restaurant on Sal on Tripadvisor, seems a little harsh to me, especially knowing some of the others ranked higher. There’s something wrong somewhere.
Alas for me, Americo’s is within my top five restaurants here in Santa Maria and a must visit for the European tourist. I am sure you will not be disappointed.