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Carvao on the Upper East Side (UES)

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Carvao on the Upper East Side (UES)

Adam Neaman | Apr 29, 2004 10:58 PM

Not really in the mood to wax prosaic, but feel it my duty to report on my second excellent meal at this place...

Just had my second delicious meal at Carvao on 77th and 2nd. It's a Portuguese and Spanish place with a bit of Brazil thrown in for good measure.

Started with baby octopus stewed in red wine over cranberry beans. Lovely, delicate octopus, perfectly cooked beans. Wine flavor was present but very delicate, not overpowering.

Had the sangria, which was great - theirs is red - very winey, not watered down with lots of juice, but still with a nice fruitiness to it.

Whole grilled fish are mostly $13. Absolutely fresh and lovely. Wonderfully grilled with crispy skin. Bacalao, cooked portuguese style with potatoes, olives, onions, and parsley, has changed my opinion of Bacalao (very much for the better - I think I finally understand what the big deal is). The whole fish was really like a good european fish restaurant by the sea -- whole, extremely fresh, perfectly grilled fish, no fuss. The bacalao was really hearty, rich, and well-balanced.

We had sides of black beans feijoada style, and spinach sauteed with garlic. Both were really great.

Most of the people around us were having churrascos of various sorts, or other grilled meats. The food looked great, the people looked happy.

For dessert, we had wonderful home made blood orange sorbet. It was one among a variety of other good looking sorbets. We had a very respectable creme brulee. The last time I was there, I had a tiny little eggy/cinnamony tart (can't remember what it's called) - also lovely and delicious.

Entrees don't come with any vegetables, but, even with two side orders of vegetables, the meal was very reasonable -- $62 for two included a glass of sangria each, we shared one appetizer, each had an entree and a side dish, each had a dessert.

Good prices. Excellent food. Interior is lovely. Service is friendly and gracious. We will be back soon.

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