This Portuguese/Cape Verdean restaurant is a festive place (fun, blue lighting and lit-up wall decorations) with great food (see below) and friendly staff (big smiles all around). I think other 'hounds reviewed Cesaria last year (?). A short walk (!) for some excellent food. What was eaten:
Mandioca Frita (fried yucca)
-Was very starchy but crisp on the outside. Served with a honey mustard. Could have been more tender and crisp if cut into thinner sticks.
-Stew with hominy, pork, beans, and kale. The favorite for half of the group. The ingredients were spot-on in texture (tender pork, perfect hominy) and flavor (think of any meat stew -- just a comforting sensation). An odd but familiar aroma from the katchupada -- incense. Couldn't stop thinking of the Hynes Convention Center T station. Patchouli? Sandalwood? We asked about the spicing too late -- the chef had already gone home. Apparently only he knows the secret. Ylang-ylang? Didn't notice any kale in the stew, though . . .
-Stewed goat with potatoes, yucca, and rice (perfect for eating with the stewy gravy). The meat just fell right off of the bones, and the yucca was a great pairing.
-Grilled octopus. The favorite among the other half of the group. The charred octopus contained concentrated versions of the marinating spices -- lemon and garlic, at the very least. Perfectly chewy with delicious and delicate flavors. Mmm -- an unnamed diner couldn't get enough of the grilled item, so he poured the excess juices over the rice. Brilliant.
Salada de Bacalhau
-Salt cod (shredded) salad. Didn't strike us as a spectacular bite. Cod with chickpeas, corn, peppers, and onion. Basic and simple.
-Deep-fried quail in a sherry wine sauce. A perky sauce for the equally perky birds. Another favorite.
Banana and Butternut Squash Flans
-Both varities actually tasted like banana (?). Thick, dense flan. Quite tasty.
Half got cashew nut juice, the other half got passion fruit juice.
I think most of us will be returning. Good food, great service, and great prices. Can't beat that.