Koo Zee Doo (phonetically spelled for Cozido, a traditional dish) is a charming BYOB Portuguese restaurant in theNorthern Liberties neighborhood in Philadelphia. Formerly Copper, the restaurant is now owned by the husband and wife team of David Gilberg and Carla Goncalves. The latter was born in Portugal, and visits her hometown with Gilberg, where he developed an interest in authentic Portuguese food.
The restaurant resides in a cozy former store-front, with an open kitchen front and center. The menu has a selection of about 5 apps, a couple soups including Caldo Verde, several entrees and about 4 desserts.
The food is generous, and served family-style. Mr. MV and I decided to give several dishes a try, since dining on authentic Portuguese cuisine is not an opportunity we get around home. We had a fridge at our hotel, so we ordered 2 apps, 2 entrees and dessert. The entrees could easily serve two, and the apps were generous.
Shrimp with piri piri brought 4 large, head-on-shrimp in a sauce that was mildly spicy.
Chicken gizzards were...a revelation. I'm not that adventurous when it comes to offal, but after reading online about the gizzards at Koo Dee Zoo, I wanted to go outside of my comfort zone to see if I've been missing something good.
Whereas I was expecting to masticate squeaky stomachs, the gizzards were meaty, deeply flavored and delicious in a rich sauce. I was really surprised! I'd describe the flavor as the richest, moist dark meat chicken thighs I'd ever tasted. They had the "essence" of chicken. We enjoyed them with slices of grilled bread.
Arroz de Pato is a traditional dish of Duck Rice. A smoky chicken breast sat atop rice containing dark duck meat and pork (sausage). The duck breast came cooked to medium, as ordered. I'm on the fence about duck usually. Mr. MV orders it and I enjoy having a taste, but never order it as an entree for myself. I have to say, this duck was amazing.
Feijoada de Marisco was served in a semi-cylindrical terra cotta ceramic vessal. The traditional dish had calamari, head-on shrimp, tiny clams, lobster, cod, and another fish which I can not recall right now. Of course there were delicious beans and rice, and a tasty broth. This dish was generous (again, family-style) and delicious.
Coconut tart with chocolate covered figs sat upon a chocolate sauce and was topped with a cinnamon creme anglaise.
With tip, our dinner (including taking away half of our entrees) came to $101.
No. Libs is a short cab ride from Center City. If you drive, expect to find parking a bit challenging, since this is a residential neighborhood where most folks park thier cars on the street.
If you go, ask for a table by the front window. There, you'll be able to watch life go by outside, and overlook the cooking in the open kitchen. And when I say open, I mean, totally open.
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