Os Moinhos for dinner, a successful reattempt

Yeah, last week's first attempt for Friday night dinner was an epic FAIL.  Os Moinhos didn't open on time, and we even waited since we arrived early.  At least we wound up at Ambientes com Sabores which proved to be a glorious meal.  We had been to Os Moinhos before.  It was right around Christmas and we were anxious to give it a try again since we wanted some good traditional Azorean cuisine and this place was really cool.  It has a nice historic feel.  So last night we made our second attempt...SUCCESS at last!

We were the first to arrive and it was nearly 8 pm.  They eat late around here, but for heaven's sake, it was dark inside, lights on outside at least this time, but the place seemed very lifeless.  They quickly realized they had guests and started to set up for dinner guests.  The lights came on, the music began to play and we were taken to our table, this time in the main dining room, which is where were really wanted to experience this very traditional place.  Speaking of tradition, we started off with some yummy bread.

This was served with fresh goal cheese.  This is much more mild than the goat cheese you are probably thinkg of.  This is also not pasteurized, so we were told to be careful, and knock on wood, but so far so good.  I love this cheese.  Oh, oh and look, there are olives.  See Gina, the olives made a comeback.  Anyone else out there who likes olives as much as me and Gina (the Candid RD)?  My sister likes them too.  Ryan is slowly coming to appreciate the deliciousness that is an olive.

Yeah, I got more on the side since the original ones had some sausage (see bind these olives) on them and I am a big baby (vegetarian style that is) when it comes to that.  I simply won't eat it if meat is touching.  Luckily the cheese appeared unharmed, I mean untouched, hehe.

This is the traditional condiment that goes with the cheese and the bread.  It is like a spread made from red peppers.

This is something new we tried.  This is Vinho Verde, which means green wine and it is a specialty of Portugal.  While not made on the island here, it is still very popular and we have really wanted to try it.

Here is some information I found online about Vinho Verde:

These wines which are aptly named Vinho Verde (Green Wine) as they are picked late and drunk very young. The Portuguese home market consumes more white than red Vinho Verde, whilst the white is exported. It is mainly yellow in colour but some have a suggestion of slight green. They classify as a still wine and have a slightly biting or prickling quality and a refreshing twang. The vines originally were kept clear of the ground by being draped on trees or specially constructed trellises. This serves a double purpose, firstly by freeing the land beneath for cultivation, and secondly, protecting the vine against damp and parasitic rot, however, this older practice now seems to be dying. These wines have a lower alcohol content. The appellation region of Vinho Verde is from south of Porto up to the Spanish boarder and detailed information is available at http://www.vinhoverde.com/.

The name refers to the fact that it’s consumed when the wine is young, usually within 1 year. Vinho Verdes are typically light and fresh and usually feature fruity and floral aromas as well as a lemon or straw color. With low alcohol content of 9% to 11% and natural acidity, Vinho Verde also features slight carbonation that’s enough to tickle your throat but not enough to be considered a sparkling wine.

I really liked it...probably more than I should have!  It was very light, fruity and very juicy.  I could barely taste that it was 11.5% alcohol.  It was so good.  At 9 euro (~$13.25) for a bottle, you can't go wrong.  This Quinta da Aveleda variety was recommended by the waitress and it was great.  now with reading online about this kind of wine, I stumbled onto this article from Food & Wine magazine, and they specifically enjoyed the vineyards at Quito da Aveleda, so I think we made a wise choice in ordering this.

Next came the soup, and although the waitress said no meat, Ryan checked it out first, and he could not be 100% sure there was no meat cooked with it at any point, so I passed.  But I love how it was served to us.  It makes me feel like a witch with a mini-caldron.

It looked good and Ryan enjoyed it.

The on to the main course.  Again, this is traditional Azorean food so it has the salad and potatoes (with lots o' garlic!) along with the main component, in this case fish for both of us as we split the dishes.  I ordered this grouper.  I was shocked to find this little guy in full form, but my bad, I forgot to ask if he was coming with his head.  Oh *sigh* no big deal.  I just had to work for my dinner.  It actually slid off the bones easily and I only had 1 or 2 small bones in the remaining fish.  It was very good and I would order this again.

Ryan ordered the red snapper and this was just as good.  I would also order this again.  It was a lot of fish, but we ate most of it.

After the meal we contemplated dessert as we polished off that bottle of wine, but in the end we were so stuffed that we ordered our coffee drinks and relaxed for a little.  This was a cute drink, they topped it with a little whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Success!  Not only were they open, but the food was great.

From scratch weekends update: I have been to the commissary and picked up any ingredients we need for our meal this weeked.  Probably not tonight, but tomorrow night we will prepare this as it is a 3 day weekend for both of us and today is so GORGEOUS outside, so we may head out soon to play tourists.

QUESTION:  Have you ever heard of Vinho Verde?  Ever tried it?  Do you prefer red, white or a blush wine?  What about sparkling wine?


Beth said...

I actually buy vino verde a lot during the summer months because it's light and refreshing, and because of it's age, cheap!

I think I love all wine, except for thick bodied reds. As for sparkling I like expensive champagne (someone brought Moet to our NYE party and it made me realize why some people like champagne!) and then sparkling rose, prosseco, and other sparklers.

FoodFitnessFreshair said...

Glad to hear your night ended up turning out good!

Anonymous said...

Melinda - glad your second outing was a good one - love how the soup came to the table and I would be all over the cheese!

Not a huge fan of olives by themselves, but I put them on my husband's pizza last night and had a bite with other ingredients and I liked it!

Never heard of that wine before - I used to be a white wine girl, that is until I started drinking good red wine.

We have Asti on special occasions though.

Good luck with your scratch cooking!

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

What a beautiful dinner! I think I would have been happy with just the cheese, olives, & bread! :) And yes, I think I love olives just as much as you and Gina. But I came to love olives relatively late in life. Growing up, I REALLY didn't like them! Now I'm always on the hunt for great olives.

I don't think I've ever had Vinho Verde. Thanks for the info! And when it comes to wine, I actually love a wide variety (red, white, sparkling)... :)

Happy Weekend! And have fun cooking from scratch! I'm still not sure what I'll make...

Anonymous said...

yummm.... I love olives (those that you had looked especially delicious) so much so that one of mine and David's favorite stops when we go to the outdoor markets here in Spain is the olive stand! And I totally understand your qualms about anything touching meat. I'm the same as you and will totally avoid anything contaminated in such a way! The soup looked good, but I think it was wise to avoid it. Soups can not be trusted - even when the waiters say they're vegetarian! I don't eat chicken or beef broth which usually makes soups inedible for me. :(
Glad that you had a great dining experience (restaurants in Altea are also pretty dead right now and not always consistently open. It's definitely the low season.)

Anonymous said...

Melinda, it all looks WONDERFUL! I'm right there with you and Gina...LOVE LOVE LOVE olives! Best part of a Mediterranean diet ;)

I've never heard of that wine, nope. I definitely prefer a red wine unless I'm eating fish, and then I'll opt for a white.

I love Secco and Prosecco. There's a red Italian Secco and it is to die for! I haven't been able to find it in the states yet!

Have a great weekend!

Gina; The Candid RD said...

Yeah for olives!! I think I'll be having some tonight with my dirty martini, as we are going to dinner for Nick's b-day (with his family). I'm excited.

I'm not really much of a wine drinker. It's one of those things I try to get into, but I just can't. Don't get me wrong though, I LOVE a good glass of red wine with certain meals (I prefer red over white, in fact I hate white, unless it's Reising!), but usually when I'm at a restaurant the beer or the dirty martini wins :)

I'm planning on making a couple things "From Scratch" soon; polenta and soup! It may not be over the weekend, but I'm still doing it! You've inspired me.

Nutritious is Delicious said...

Looks like a fabulous time! and that coffee looks like the perfect finish! :D

Anonymous said...

just came across your blog, very cool that you're an RD! everything looks delicious :)

Abbys Vegan Eats said...

So glad the second time was a charm at that place.. everything looks great! So fresh and colorful!

I actually dont drink wine.. or any alcohol. I use to be a beer girl though.. Sam Adams was my bevvy of choice!

The pears are sooo good... you heard right. Perfectly ripe and juicy. What a great gift idea. I just wish they didnt have to be shipped across the country. Im all for buying local produce and they are certainly not grown anywhere near NC. (Im still eatin them all though!)

Happy weekend :)

Shannon said...

What a nice place. Glad it worked out this time.

I'm not a big wine drinker...just a couple tiny sips and I'm asleep. People try to get me to take a sip or too just to watch what happens to me!

Mari said...

I have never heard of Vihno Verde...I am a red wine type of girl =)

Julie said...

oh that green wine sounds right up my alley! fruity, cheap and high in alcohol content..yes please!

glad you had such a fun time girl :)

eatingRD said...

Looks like such a wonderful experience, glad you guys finally got to go! I've never heard of that wine before, so interesting. Can you buy it at normal wine shops? It sounds nice and light, perfect for a summer wine. I am usually a fan of fruity and rich reds :) Have a nice weekend

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