This week, Good Food reviews the cosy and welcoming L’Oasis Italiana restaurant, boasting authentic Italian cuisine in the heart of the seaside town of Armação de Pêra
Set on a side street, just behind the main beachfront avenue in Armação, the team at this bright little restaurant give all customers, whether new or old, a warm and relaxed welcome.
Run by Italian Giovanni Pogni whose mother keeps a close watch on the preparation of authentic dishes in the kitchen, L’Oasis Italiana offers diners good food made from the freshest ingredients.
Unlike the standard fare of pizza and pasta dishes seen in eateries the world over, here, diners can chose from a vast range of freshly prepared dishes including home-made gnocchi, lasagne, cannelloni and ravioli, to veal with a tuna sauce. New on the menu in recent weeks are two creations; ‘La pizza di Giulio’ with tomato, mozzarella, ricotta, scamorza cheese, walnuts and honey or the ‘Panzotti al Limone’, pasta topped with a rich and creamy lemon sauce.
The pizza menu itself is also extensive, with all pizzas being made with a thin crisp base and topped with a variety of fresh ingredients. There is something for every taste!
There is also a comprehensive range of antipasti dishes such as fresh bruschetta, salads, antipasta and freshly made soups.
During our recent visit to L’Oasis Italiana, we ordered their traditional wine-based cocktail called the Spritz that is commonly served as an aperitif in northern Italy, especially in the Veneto region and surrounding areas, where Giovanni and his family are from. The drink is prepared with Prosecco wine, a dash of the bitter orange liqueur Aperol, and garnished with a slice of orange.
This we followed with a generously sized Valentino Rossi pizza, topped with tomato, mozzarella, chicken, cream and spinach, and a portion of meat ravioli topped with Bolognese sauce, accompanied by a chilled bottle of Portuguese Lancers rosé wine.
The wine list features a good selection of quality Italian wines such as Chianti, Valpolicella, Lambrusco, Pinot Grigio and Prosecco Albino Armani as well as Portuguese reds, rosé, white and green wines. There are also a variety of soft drinks, international beers, cocktails, sangria and freshly made natural fruit juices to choose from.
To end the meal, diners can treat themselves to one of the restaurant’s fabulous home- made deserts including a very generous portion of warm chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream and strawberry topped cream.
Other sweets include a velvety smooth tiramisu, panacotta or fruit salad that can be washed down with one of a number of liqueurs.
To complement the restaurant and his passion for Italian food, Giovanni, a master pizza instructor, has started a new project to professionally train pizza chefs in Portugal.
Starting this winter, he will be providing internationally recognised pizza courses at his restaurant, leading to an accredited diploma from the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli.
As well as this, Mr. Pogni also imports and distributes pizza- making accessories and utensils to Portugal.
“With the current crisis, I felt it was important to contribute to making things better, and so I will soon be helping to provide people with a profession and an accredited diploma that they can take with them anywhere in the world,” said Mr. Pogni.
For further information, or to book a table at the restaurant, please contact Giovanni and his team on 282 312 869 or 962 785 898. Alternatively, visit the restaurant, located on Rua D. João II, Lj1 r/c, Edificio Atlântico IV in Armação de Pêra.