Had a lovely lunch at Atasca today. We ordered grilled sardines, squid with polenta crisps and pork with clams. I hadn't been to the new location but it's quite charming -- close to Kendall with a nice patio and a bright nicely-decorated dining room.
I didn't care for the sardines -- they were too cold and topped with a lackluster carrot salad. Wish we'd gotten the favas instead. But the squid was GREAT -- tiny baby squid sauteed with lemon and wine and garnished with a few polenta croutons. The broth/sauce was bread-moppable with big slices of garlic. You know what I mean.
Best dish was the pork with clams. I think these guys do a great version of this classic -- nicely moist chunks of pork in broth with briny clams and crisp fried potatoes. You could taste a hint of sherry in the broth and again, I wanted to sup it up with a spoon. The plate was big enough to share. I need to go check the pedestrian version at J&J (my favorite local Portuguese) to see how they compare. My guess is J&J is slightly cheaper, but not better.
Really nice server, host, good cheap and cheerful wine list. Only downside is parking in that area is a bitch.
Prices for starters in the $6 - 8 range. Our (shared) pork and clams was $14. It's not cheap but I wouldn't say it's prohibitive.
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