As we drove the winding roads of Sao Miguel on the way back from the western end of the island, we came across a restaurant we’d heard of, 4 Platanas. The building was strikingly modern, with a glass walled balcony on the second floor that the kids were particularly fond of. They wanted to look out of the telescope, but the view as far as the eye could see was a wall of fog at the time. On clear days, I am sure the view is simply incredible. We sat at a table on the first floor to dine, partly because of the fog and partly because there was a wedding party having a reception on the second floor.
We began by sharing a plate of fried shrimp. If you aren’t familiar with ordering food in the Azores, you may be expecting the American version of breaded and fried shrimp. They are actually not breaded and are steamed and seasoned. They are served with the heads still on. We managed to do in a plate of 18 good size shrimp before the main dishes arrived.
Seafood and Rice
Our bartender at the hotel recommended ordering seafood and rice (Arroz de Marisco – 20 Euros) and sharing it between two people. We could have shared this traditional dish of the Azores with the whole table. Two of us didn’t even make a dent in it. The pasta was heavenly, as were the clams and mussels. The dish is cooked with the shells in it, so be sure to watch for bits of shell while you are eating. The only way to really describe seafood and rice is that is like eating the sea. If you don’t like mussels, clams, or a fishy taste, you might not enjoy it, but we love seafood and thought it was incredible.
The other adult in our party ordered a grilled codfish loin, which was done to perfection.
The boys ordered a hamburger and a steak. Both were very tender and they enjoyed them immensely. The hamburger was served traditionally for the area, with a fried egg and no bun. The little guy asked for a roll and they were more than happy to give it to him. (Local cattle seem to be primarily grass fed, which accounts for the incredible tenderness and flavor.)
We had planned to finish our meal with desserts, but the restaurant was unfortunately out of many of the options on the menu.
- Ask about the shuttle service if you are nearby with no transportation.
- The restaurant has free WiFi, which is great for checking directions to your next location!
- Don’t be afraid to split dishes, especially the seafood and rice, which had quite generous portions.
For More Information:
Regional road nº39A
San Antonio, Ponta Delgada
São Miguel, Azores
Phone: 351 296 918 241