If you head up the coast from Cascais on the Estrada do Guincho, you're in for a spectacularly beautiful drive. And if you stop at Meste Zé, you'll be in for a spectacular meal.
I first learned the name of this place years ago as "Mestre Zé"... it seems to have lost the "r" in the intervening years, making it even more like kiddie-talk for "Master José" (like "nana" for "grandma"). No matter--the food is definitely NOT child's play. Although this place is a little outside the normal purview of this blog--it's essentially an expensive restaurant--it's home to what is perhaps the single greatest dish I know of in Portugal: a truly sensational cataplana de marisco. This is basically a stew cooked in the traditional Portuguese pan called a cataplana, which looks a bit like a flying saucer and is made of copper....the top half lifts off on a hinge after being sealed up so that all the juices and aromas stay in while cooking. It's made with squid, shrimp, lobster, and various other tidbits, all done perfectly (and since they all require different cooking times, this is no small feat), simmered in a sauce of onion, wine, a bit of tomato paste, chouriço (of course!), and some cream, and served over rice. As far as I'm concerned, one of the most spectacular dishes in the whole country, and they are the only restaurant I know of to make it the way they do.
Estrada do Guincho
2750-642 Cascais, Portugal
(+351) 21 487 02 75