Oporto in Hartsdale
- Todd Brecher Feb 17, 2005 10:03 AM
Interested to hear from anyone who has been to the Portugeuse restaurant Oporto in Hartsdale--recently was featured in Westchester Magazine as one of 10 best new restaurants--article praised the food, but didn't say anything about atmosphere or price. Appreciate any input.
I was just at Oporto restaurant on saturday and I have to say the decor is just as nice as the food. I enjoy Portuguese cuisine and have been to several in the New York area and I would have to say that this is the probably the nicest Portuguese restaurant that I have been to , it is very elegant and very cozy . I always felt that Alfama restaurant on Hudson Street was the nicest Portuguese restaurant but after going to Oporto I would have to say that both have great decor but in different ways. Afama is brighter and colorful and Oporto is warm and relaxing.
As far as the food it was excellent, my wife who loves paelha had the "Portuguese paelha" and said it was the best she ever had, I myself had the bitoque which is a typical portuguese plate of steak & eggs on fries and a (delicious) house sauce. The only drawback was that I love Portuguese bread and it was served cold but the manager told me that they would be getting a bread warmer very soon. (something to look foward to) Hope this helps you!
The atmosphere is the best part, apart from the food. The place is really gorgeous, and it is cozy, without being small. The waitstaff are very professional, and the owners very accomodating. The bar is a nice place for a drink or cappuccino. I love the food, and really love the desserts. It's all portuguese food, but there is so much to try, you can eat it all the time. It's good wholesome food.
Four of us dined at "Oporto" last Saturday on a very rainy evening. We had made our reservation almost two weeks in advance and reconfirmed the day of our dining reservation. Upon arrving we were informed by the hostess owner that there would be a few minutes wait. We waited and waited and waited and then waited some more. After
45 minutes we agreed to be seated in the noisy front room rather then our requested
quieter side room. I faced a brink wall decorated with two cooper type plates all night!
We were served a break basket containing 3 pieces of a rather poor quality cold bread
intended for the four of us. I ordered Portugal's national dish, namely, "Caldo Verde".
This is usually prepared with Kale but here they use Collard Greens. The soup is usually served with "broa" or corn bread but here it is accompanied with nothing. Usually the soup is bright with flavor and the use of garlic and a good olive oil. Here the soup was bland, tepid, and not served hot. Two individuals ordered the " Taste of
Portugal" appetizer which yielded two pieces of over-cooked hard and tough sausage, and passable codfish, shrimp, and potato cakes. An ordered Portuguese steak resulted
in receiving a tough, stringy, cheway steak. Two odered Salmon specials tasted fine.
Ordered coffee resulted in a wait of over 25 minutes before it was served. We did not
order deserts. At no time did the owner apologize for the original delay nor did she offer
the simple courtesy of buying all of us or even some of us a drink or a glass of wine.
Three hours after arriving we finally left although we did linger somewhat with our coffee.
Upon leaving, we all noted that the owner hostess was not present to either thank us
or wish us a "good night". To be perfectly fair we noted that the restaurant was hosting a party of 11 that night and more then likely were giving the majority of attention and service to them. All in all not a very good experience. Would all of us return? I think not!
I ate dinner at Oporto the same night and had a completely different experience.....as a matter of fact I have been eating at Oporto for years and never experienced anything like what I am reading here.
Having to wait for a table on a Saturday night, especially the rainy Saturday night in question, does not seem that out of the ordinary in Westchester. In these cases I find that a little patience goes a long way in not ruining my evening.
When an otherwise consistent restaurant seems to be having what are admittedly minor hiccups, I turn my attention to the company I am with instead of the "dining" experience. I find that I am having less and less "bad" experiences these days.
Lighten up Alan, the folks at Oporto are good, hardworking people and they deserve better than this from the public they strive so hard to please.
I've only been there once, and the food was fine, not great by any means. But the weird thing was that it was back in February and it was THE coldest night of the entire winter. It was a Monday and I was with a group of 8 women. The place was literally empty, clearly because it was a Monday and it was beyond freezing outside.
I guess one of their "signature" dishes is some kind of roast chicken. Well, they were out of roast chicken. How could that be when the place was empty and they call it their signature dish? I had the paella which was unremarkable. Not bad, just sort of there.
I will say, though, that I thought the atmosphere was nice.
Oporto has got to be one of my favorite restaurants in Westchester. I have gone there numerous times and had nothing but positive experiences. Their food is awesome, their hummus, steak and egg, and roast chicken are my personal favorites. Their sangria is handsdown the best. The decor is very nice. The service is very friendly, especially the owner Rui who is always very accomodating, oh and not to mention their waiter Steve. In my experiences i found that coming on weekdays will get you the best tables and service.