Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An Inside View: A Taberna

Here it is, my very first restaurant review. In the interest of making my blog more of a 'food experience' rather than recipes only, I decided to add restaurant reviews. This way, the random days that I am not cooking, I can still share my food experiences with you. Up first is a small Portuguese restaurant down the block from my house called A Taberna. It is traditional and authentic and definitely worth a try. It tends to be very crowded on the weekends, so go early if you don't feel like waiting too long. If you don't mind the wait, they have a long, rustic bar that you can sit at and have a drink while you are waiting for the next available table.

Promptly after being seated, the waiter brought over bread and butter, homemade potato chips and black olives. The olives were absolutely delicious. Upon inquiry, our waiter informed me that they are from Portugal and marinated in olive oil, garlic and oregano. The flavor was so smooth and light. I couldn't help but going back for seconds, thirds and more!

For our appetizer, we ordered the Ameijoas a Portuguesa per a recommendation from our waiter. It is a traditional Portuguese dish of clams and sausage in a red sauce. The dish was served right out of the pot, so you did not lose any of the flavor. The spice from the sausage was a nice addition to the plump clams. And the sauce was so good I could have eaten it with a spoon. Instead I chose to dip three pieces of bread in to soak it all up!

For our main dish, we ordered the Parrilhada, which is a grilled meat platter. The platter included everything you could imagine from beef and pork to quail, lamb chops and bacon. It was served with grilled peppers and onions. The meat was tender and extremely flavorful. And as you can see below, there was no short of it! This dish is recommended for two people and it was the perfect amount. At only $27, how could you beat that?

Finally, for dessert we ordered the creme brulee. This dessert is made fresh, on premises, every day. And let me tell you, you can really tell. The custard was smooth and creamy and the sugar coated top added the perfect crunch. I couldn't put my spoon down until the last drop was gone!

Overall, I highly recommend A Taberna. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming; it is rustic and has an authentic vibe. The service was great; our waiter was very knowledgeable about the menu and the food. His recommendations surely paid off as I left there with a full stomach. For the amount of food they bring out, the prices are very reasonable. All in all, I look forward to my next visit at A Taberna.

If you decide to give A Taberna a try, leave a comment about your visit. Did you enjoy it as mush as I did? What did you decide to order? I would love to hear about your experience.

A Taberna - 4135 Austin Boulevard, Island Park, NY - (516) 432-0455