The Villian last ate at CP maybe 7 years ago with a bunch of friends on a weekend night and was completely underwhelmed.
This was in the last days of the dearly departed of P & A Seafood (which made the best Garlic Lobster Zarzuela kind of thing anyone has ever heard of) Since then, like many have been brought around to the
Atasca persuasion for the generally acknoledged best Port. food in town. But I was in the neighborhood, it was late in the afternoon, so stopped in for a late small lunch... My standard Atascan dish was offered on their menu as well: cherrystone almejas something de bhato (garlic wine sauce) - appitizer only in both establishments- & 2 sides: Portugeese fries, and a grilled port. sausage.
bottom line was: Clams just about as good as Atasca,
fewer, larger, chewier in a slightly less finnessed broth-garlicly and excellent none the less...Hot fresh-clean fries-
and a fat free, firehous red, grilled portugeese sausage,
with a lot of flavor. (I asked them to grill me one well done, I doubt if its ever a menu item, but it shows up in lots of dishes) Add fresh Somerville Italian bread, w/good olive oil (and unfortunately plenty of tasteless California black olives w/pits (where and why do they bother finding these? The Portugeese who know a few things about olives, wouldnt be caught dead eating 'em.)
That and a glass of white wine and thats a good lunch.
Not sure it this is a really outstanding restaurant across the board but these three items were all done very nicely.
The studied disinterested "we don't really give a damn, but we know what we are doing, so don't rush us and you'll be just fine" attitude, and the unbelievably taciturn waiter cum manager was worth (or not) the price of admission alone... The place is long on atmosphere, (maybe not the one you are looking for) but Atmosphere.