I went here last night with a few friends, including a 2-year old baby. We were a bit put off when we entered (around 6:15, on a Sunday) to a completely empty restaurant. I guess Sundays are slow (which is putting it mildly...nobody else came in to eat while we were there for about 2 hours, although 3 or 4 people came in and left with takeout.) However, it worked very much to our advantage since the baby had the run of the place and the waiter had lots of time to answer our questions. We asked him about the lack of people and he said that Friday and Saturday nights, they are very busy, but Sundays are slow. The restaurant was bright, with pretty blue tile on the walls and a selection of interesting ceramics and pottery.
None of us know much about Portuguese food, and the menu was extensive and varied. I think we managed to sample a pretty good cross section.
We started with Linguica, which was a length of sausage which came on a small pottery brazier, with flaming brandy underneath. Great presentation, and the sausage was very good, but I was expecting something a bit spicier. I think I am confusing Linguica with Chorizo.
The hubby and friends had salads, which were a pretty typical iceberg lettuce affair. I had the Caldo Verde, which was shredded kale in a light potato broth. The ingredients were fresh and it was very satisfying, but again, I think I was expecting a bit spicier.
For dinner, I had (can't rememeber the Portuguese names of any of the dishes) a stew of pork and clams in a wonderful garlicky sauce. It was served with a mound of small fried potato wedges on top. I had to work through the mound to get to the stew below, which was a bit awkward, but then the potatoes were great for soaking up the sauce.
The hubby and one friend had different treatments of baccala (salted cod). He had his with a cream sauce and shrimp, hers looked a bit plainer. Both were served with boiled potatoes and very fresh vegetables- broccoli for him and string beans and carrots for her. The hubby loved his potatoes and vegetables, but thought the cod was a bit bland (aside from the saltiness). However he managed to put most of it away so it couldn't have been too bad. She also finished most of hers and said it was salty, but that was working for her.
The other friend had a very unique presentation of filet mignon, which came perfectly cooked to his specification, and topped with a fontina-like cheese. It was sliced into two pieces, and between the two was presunta, a salty ham like prosciutto. It was served in a pool of garlicky espresso sauce, which, yes, was made with coffee. But it was more like a mole sauce where the coffee was an accent, not the main flavor. It was a very unique taste and he loved it.
I don't remember any all-veggie options on the menu, so it isn't someplace that I would bring veggie friends who don't eat seafood.
We finished off with flan, chocolate mousse and espresso. The flan and espresso were perfect complements to each other. The mousse tasted like it came from a package mix. We tried a Portuguese beer (Cristal?) and 2 half carafes of the house red, and were happy with those choices. Bill with tax (but not tip) came to about $100 for the four of us (and no extra charge for the bowl of rice for the baby).
We're looking forward to going back on a busier night (sans baby!) See the link below for address.
On the way, we passed "Fire Bull", a Brazilian BBQ place, and want to give that a go- does anyone have any experience with them?
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