East Providence Portuguese restaurants - recommendations?
going to be in Providence this w/e and am eager to check out one of these recommended Portuguese restaurants (Estrella Do Mar, Solmar, and Madeira) this weekend but would like to go with a few recommendations in hand. which dishes did you love the most?
My favorite of those 3 is Madeira, and I recommend the pork alentejana (cubes of pork with littlenecks and potatoes). O'Dinis (also on Warren ave) is also quite good.
The service at Estrella Do Mar is spotty: if you're not local, you'll probably get second rate service. This place was also closed for a while, so I don't know what the status is . . ?
I love O Dinis, though they can have their off days (food not consistent).
Madeira is probably the best as far as atmosphere, service and food, but you'll get more bang for the buck at O Dinis.
The status of Estrella Do Mar is that they had a kitchen fire, thereofre they had to close in order to remodel and fix thigns up. I personally do not like O'Dinis I thought theire service stunk. I had to wait over an hour for dinner the last time I was there and the food wasn't all that. I think Madeira is over priced and I believe the reson why he charges so much is because he has to pay for all the buildings he keeps buying in the strip. My favorite woud have to be Solmar. They're food is great and the service is wonderful. I've even done the take out and the food is alwasy hot when I pick up. they would have to be my number #1 choice.
my boss, who is from the azores, loves o'dini's with a passion. she says it's the most authentic portuguese food in the providence area and appreciates the friendly ribbing she receives from the owners when she goes in. apparently the octopus is phenomenal there.
she has taken me to madeira, and even though she said it was sort of diluted for americans, i still liked it a lot (and though it may be "diluted," there are no items on the menu for people who might not like portuguese food--no cop-outs in the form of hamburgers or caesar salads here!). the octopus there is also quite good--tender and flavorful--as well as the calamari (which seems to be a little crispier and more substantial than a lot of the melt-in-the-mouth calamari you get in more italian-esque places) and the clams w/ chorizo. maria also ordered a dish that was sort of like deep-fried soft polenta that was really, really good. it almost had the texture of chinese deep-fried tofu, crispy on the outside, hot and warm and soft on the inside. i'm not sure what it was called, though. also the portuguese olives are wonderful if you have a salt tooth like me.
Definitely give Madiera a try! We've been going there for years and have never had a bad meal. I like their Paella and my other half gets their kabobs. they come out on the looonnngg
skewers. Very flavorful.