This past weekend my husband and I had an impromptu dinner with my sister and brother-in-law as they were in our neck of the woods.
I hadn't been to Costa Verde in Sayreville in years and it always was a favorite of mine. Since my husband had never been there I suggested we meet there and was very happy to have thought of it.
For those who have never been there, Costa Verde is a Porguese/Spanish "joint". I say joint, because the atmosphere really has a kind of working class feel to it, very loud bar scene (almost unbearably, which I had forgotten) and sadly, a lot of smoke to go with it. The restaurant is much larger than I remembered tho, and was packed completely tho the wait wasn't as long as it appeared it might be, about 10 minutes or so.
However...the main courses make up for that drawback and then some. Very traditional fare, a lot of seafood on the menu. Three types of Mariscada (seafood in broth), which is my favorite. 2 or 3 people could easily share one of these tho my brother-in-law pigged out and ate the whole thing. Swimming with lobster, shrimp, scallops, mussels and clams. Comes with a nice platter of saffron rice. My sister had the BBQ shrimp, which also comes with the rice and potatoes to die for - a cross between a potato chip and a french fry. My husband, who does not eat seafood at all, had roast pork, which had a very tasty garlicky sauce over it, also served with the rice and potatoes.
The night were were there there was a special of roast suckling pig - something you almost never see around here. I was tempted, as I hadn't had this since being in Spain several years back but the mariscada verde (green sauce) won me over as it usually does.
We also ordered a pitcher of their red sangria (with lots of fresh fruit floating around) which was entirely too good and certainly helped liven up our table!
Dinner comes with good bread, salad (tho this is entirely lackluster - typical iceberg almost past its prime with the usual generic dressings) or soup. We didn't have desert or appetizers as all of us are "watching" ourselves in one form or another and we certainly didn't need them to fill us up further.
Prices are quite reasonably. The mariscadas were $18 I believe, the pork and shrimp were somewhere in the $10-15 range. Sangria was about $10ish. Also, they are in the Entertainment book, so we got 2 meals values up to $13 each off the price of the bill (but you have to be there before 6:30 pm to get that deal).
Service was somewhat haphazard, but in a place like this you aren't expecting anyone to pamper you through the meal. Our waiter(s) had a sense of humor tho, and were pleasant to deal with, tho a bit scatter-brained.
I would recommend seeking out this place if you live in an area where Portugese or Spanish food isn't too common.