ALÈS Madeiran specialties come to the heart of the city

Wilson da Silva Mendes helped his mother Cecilia realize her dream: to open a Portuguese restaurant. (Photo by Corentin Migoule)

For the past two weeks, No. 3 rue Taisson d’Alès, a stone’s throw from the Town Hall, has hosted “Dona Céci,” a new Portuguese restaurant showcasing Madeira’s culinary specialties. Unique in the capital of Cévennes.

No matter how difficult it seemed, he found nothing. “I spoke with old people from the city who don’t remember seeing another Maderan restaurant before us”, says Wilson da Silva Mendes. The young man, built like a rugby player, opened two weeks ago the restaurant “Dona Céci”, at No. 3 Rue Taisson, in downtown Alès. The result of a family adventure in which Jennifer, her sister, and especially mother Cecilia participated.

“His dream was to have his own restaurant”, Wilson admits, about the person who gave “Céci” the trade name. As for Donna, In Portuguese it has many meanings.Son exposes. And to add: It can mean ‘at home’, but it also refers to ‘chef’ or ‘lady’, as a kind of prestige. » Originally from the Madeira archipelago that saw the birth of modern football legend, Cristiano Ronaldo, the trio have been stationed at the Gates of Seven, in Saint-Cristol-Les, for 12 years.

Portuguese Alesian Society at the Rendezvous

Proud of his native island and aware of the gastronomic potential, Wilson launched the home-cooked snack bar at the beginning of the year. Combining takeaway sales and home delivery, the business is successful. “We were very surprised by the result and it boosted my idea of ​​opening a restaurant”, remembers Saint Christoline. It also identified the need for: “I found it a shame that the Portuguese community living in Alice had to go to Nîmes for dishes from the country.”

After finding this local ” last chance “ After a long unsuccessful search on social networks, Maderan has been taming his clients for two weeks. his profile? “80% original Portuguese and 20% curious”, summarizes. Thus, it is not uncommon for tables to set aside the use of Molière’s language of interchange throughout the meal in Portuguese.

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Self service buffet

At Dona Céci, the unique à la carte dish varies every month. Currently, very prolific Picado Of the beef served with fries and a thick sauce that combines mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes and black olives, it’s devastating. House show, all-you-can-eat buffet (15€) including dessert, combining Portuguese specialties (prawn, octopus, braised chicken with lemon sauce) and Madeiran specialties (cod pancakes, fried corn, Pastes de nata), as well as more suggestions “neutral”Attracts customers.

Behind the stoves, Donna Cecilia, who has made her mark in the kitchens of the very famous Le Cabanon restaurant, in Andes, uses “Only fresh produce”. Up to 32 caps per serving can be set up in the heart of the air-conditioned room. If “small errors” In the coming days, Wilson calls for indulgence: “We are new to this field, so we learn a little bit from day to day. But we will always do our best to satisfy customers.”

Corentin Miguel

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"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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