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Boston Area

O'Fado; Portugese in Peabody


Restaurants & Bars 5

O'Fado; Portugese in Peabody

galleygirl | Mar 23, 2004 09:30 AM

Another lovely meal at O'Fado last nite..

FYI, only the bar area is open on Mondays, and I'm talking 'bar' here, in the old sense, with plywood half-way up the walls, Keno game going on, and pool table...Regulars were chowing at said bar, one bellied up right to a caldeirada, so we knew the food was the usual home-cooking...Luckily, I was with such a peripatetic pair of hounds, that they felt right at home in the milieu, despite the fact that it was smoke-free(g)..

Our host gracuously spread fresh paper over one of the tables for us, and we were off...I don't know much about Portugese wine (except I usually don't care for it) so I put in an order for a carafe of the house white...The waiter said he had a bottle of Vinho Verde for the same price, which did nothing to excite me, because I detest the sweet fizz of Vinho Verde, too...But this, this was excellent!!! A producer called Allianca(cedilla? under the c) served up a bottle of absolutely dry, crisp effervescence, that brought to mind nothing but an excellent, dry cava...At $11 a bottle, who knows how reasonable this stuff is in one's neighborhood wine store?

We had to order right away, because the cook was leaving for the night, but not before he produced my favorite plate of stewed octopus, bathed in a slightly thicker sauce than normal, still mostly red wine, some green peppers for depth, tho not noticeable in the finished product, some tomato, lots of garlic, and that fatty richness that only octopus protein cooking down can give...Lacking salt, for some reason, but that was easily remedied...My only quibble was we were too late for boiled potatoes, my favorite accompaniment with this dish...Their chewy rice made up for that.

My companions indulged me in my need to try the Bacalhao a Braz here as well...Chunks of salt cod (strips in other places), tossed with strips of sauteed potato, strips of onion so carmelized that they looked like bacon, and parsley, all tossed with scrambled eggs. In other places, it had been toossed with strips of hard-boiled egg. No matter, this is Portugese comfort food, and a big plate of it (and it's only served in big plates!) would do wonders on a Sunday morning, if ya know what I mean...;) Made me think of a great batch of lox and eggs and onions...

The Porkadelphians also shared the Pork and Clams Aleunteja(sp?), chunks of pork, and some clams in a salty, winey, spicy sauce, topped with so many Portugese potatoes another plate was required...They, of course, will have to fill you in on the porky goodness...

The leftover pork went home with Yumyum, the leftover bacalhao was my breakfast this morning...The bill? $67, including TWO bottles of the excellent Vinho Verde.....

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