Amelia Calado and Antonio Oliveira, born and raised in the same small village of Santa Comba Dao in the middle of Portugal, grew up a kilometer apart, but did not meet until the age of 19 at one of Antonio’s sister’s weddings. In the wake of the 1974 revolution, in which Portugal’s dictator was ousted, work was hard to come by. Amelia and Antonio started over entirely by emigrating to the Netherlands in 1978 in search of employment with only a suitcase in hand. Their days consisted of going to work, eating, and sleeping, saving up every penny in the hope of one day returning to Portugal.
The original plan was to stay for two years and return to their homeland. In the meantime, they married and started a family. The designated timeframe passed, and the years added up, turning a temporary stay into a 35-plus-year residence. All the while, Amelia loved to cook and over the years dreamed of opening a restaurant. In 2002, the Oliveira family purchased Restaurant Portugalia. Amelia, Antonio, and their son, Henrique, incorporate their own personal touch to bring delicious Portuguese specialties to the city of Amsterdam.