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portuguese food & wine in Newark

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Anyone have any tips on where to find the best Portuguese food and wine in Newark? Preferably the two together? I'm working on an article for our magazine and would love any input. Thank you!

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  1. Well, even though Jim Leff says there is no good Portuguese food in Newark, I thought it wasn’t bad at all. Delicious even, but what do I know. The results, if anyone is interested: If the quality of the pastel de nata is the measure of a bakery’s greatness, Riviera looses to Coutinho’s (neither of which are stellar to tell the truth, the use of puff pastry making for a less-than-crisp-and-flavorful holder for the eggy filling), but do check out Riviera’s long tubes of phyllo filled with sweetened egg yolk and dusted with powdered sugar. Deadly rich and not too sweet, the best way to eat your a.m. eggs. For savory food, Seabra’s Marisquiera is the place: even the squid is flown in daily, via TAP straight to Newark. Exemplary fried squid with the interesting accompaniment of pickled mixed vegetables—a little piquant acidity to cut through the grease: good idea. Very excellent prawns “in the style of Madagascar,” i.e. doused in garlic & paprika’d butter, apparently. Crunchy little fried silver fish called carapau, a fixture in Portugal says a friend in the know. The eel was unfortunately fried to hell and beyond. But absolute best was a steaming crock of thumbnail-sized cockles swimming in a rich, garlic- and cilantro-flavored broth.
    Before returning home, stopped in Seabra’s to pick up some of their cheeses and chouricos—the grocery store chain imports lots of stuff, including excellent artisan cheeses, and makes/cures/smokes sausages and all kinds of pork parts on site. For fish, (including cod in 6 different varieties not including salted fins and tongues) walk a little further down the street, same side, to Popular Fish Market, and for wine, cross over to Lisbon Liquors, which has an excellent selection of hard-to-find Portuguese labels and some old vintages too.
    Still would love suggestions of other Portuguese places to check out.

    6 Replies
    1. re: tqt

      thank you so much for your post - where is Seabra's? I have been trying and failing over the last couple of years to find this store (I didnt know its name - did it move?) which I went to once - the sausages are wonderful and so are the cheeses.

      thanks again!

      1. re: JEN KALB

        It is on Clinton and Jefferson--there are also a couple of good ones on Ferry St. If and when you go don't pass up the excellent selection of bread. Too, Thursdays and Fridays the fresh fish selection is terrific. Skip the lobsters though.

        1. re: Peter

          I was wrong about the address--it is on Lafayette and Madison. Lafayette is south and parallel to Ferry. Sorry about the misinfo.

          1. re: Peter

            I actually went to the one that is right on Ferry, a block from Popular Fish Store (and in a haze of journalistic brilliance, didn't take down the exact address. Basically smack in the middle of the Portuguese section of Ferry, at any rate.)Is the one on Lafayette better? Seabra's seemed to have everything one could possibly want, including really cheery people who were willing to explain everything to the gaping foreigner (me)

            1. re: tqt

              I know the one you are talking about--the one on Lafayette is larger with a wider selection of everything. The fish section is very good especially if you shop on a friday for it. Hopefully you tried the bread and rolls.

      2. re: tqt

        Recently went to Seabra's Marisqueira. I had the Acorda De Marisco, which is a very seafood funky dry soup of clams and mussels out of the shells, and small scallops and shrimp, mixed with loads of pulled pieces of the excellent bread, and heavily garlicked. The waiter mixed in the semi-cooked egg sitting on top, and the resulting "seafood porridge" was quite delicious. The fresh coriander in the mixture provided a balancing freshness and lightness.

        The Chourico Assado was terrific, but most curious. The grilled sausage was smoky, dry, salty, and chewy, and the meat in the sausage was more like large chunks of a dense ham than ground or chopped sausage meat. I've never seen anything like this.

        The flan was mealy, the syrup burnt tasting.

        The staff was friendly and most welcoming.