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Feb 23, 2008 03:32 PM

Solar do Minho

In Roselle Park NJ....opened 6 months,....Spanish/Portugese, beautiffully appointed and decorated, with courteous service, which brings one to the finer restaurants in Lisbon.......I had a Skirt Steak, on a heated roof tile, done medium, tender and juicy, about a pound.......garlic shrimp was a large portioned appetizer, that was also very good......extensive wine list but no individual glass's of friend had the red snapper that she described as moist and flavorful.......higher prices than the Ironbound (down neck) section of Newark.....but a welcome to the area

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  1. The original restaurant is in Belleville. One of my favorite Portuguese/Brazilian places.

    1. Solar do Minho in Roselle Park gets a decidedly mixed review in today's NY Times. High marks for some of the entrees, low marks for others; a salad bar "about as appealing as a roadside diner's"; service problems; and desserts that "were a waste of money and calories". Except one, which was apparently outstanding but ended up in the reviewer's lap! Maybe they recognized him?

      3 Replies
      1. re: ambrose

        ambrose........It's the type of place you go to a couple of times then decide to spend your dining dollars elsewhere..........3 Lawyers own the place and have a Portugese man as manager

        1. re: LEOFONT

          I couldn't agree with you more, LEOFONT. Actually, I had this very thought manifest itself the other day while I was on my way to Newark for some cheap febras sandwiches and Sagres... I used to go with my partner at least once a week for the first few months it was open. However, while in the car on Route 22 this past weekend, I wondered to myself, "What happened to going to Solar do Minho once a week?" I actually work within walking distance and after a few visits, I found/find myself satiated. The portions are just way too big for a 5'10" 150 lb male (they're way too big for a 10 foot long 550 lb WHALE but that's beside the point), and the food is somewhat hit or miss. I'd like to see more $5 lunch sandwiches a-la Adega Grill, Tony Da Caneca, etc... Not an $18.00 bacalhau special that I can't eat one third of and would cause the rest of my day to be ruined by the sleep-induced coma I'd be in from such a large lunch. I know portions are the draw a lot of times, but how can these places make any real money giving away a whole cow to each patron? I say just go to Newark, the extra 10-15 minutes won't kill you.

        2. re: ambrose

          I read the review in my hard copy of the "Times" yesterday (2/24), and my reaction was that this is just another rodizio in a cavernous space, and not a very good one!

        3. Stay away!!! Went there when they opened almost a year ago. Wait staff destroyed our evening with poor communication not only to us but between themselves and kitchen. I (wrongfully) attributed it to being new and decided to give it another try. We had another absolutely abysmal experience. Kitchen sent out the wrong entree to one person in our party. A second dish was so overdone it was inedible. Management doesn't seem too concerned about rectifying these recurrent problems, I guess they don't need repeat customers. Side note, $3.00 for kids cokes and charge for all refills....Absolutely never again.

          3 Replies
          1. re: lotrja

            I was at Solar do Minho last nght, and was really impressed. As was my mother, who is one tough cookie when it comes to restaurants. She ordered the oysters on the half shell- for $9.50, she got a dozen (for that price, most places would give a half dozen), and they were huge and very fresh. She got the filet mignon in a mushroom and shrimp sauce, huge hunk of meat that was broiled exactlyl the way she ordered it. Not a murmer of complaint from her. We got some sangria (which I am not a fan of), which was quite sweet, which was the reason she loved it.

            In an effort to control my caloric intake, I had the salad bar instead of one of the starters. I suppose the Times was justified to a certain extent in its criticism of the salad bar, but given the generous size of the main courses, there was more than enough to choose from and still leave some room. The most interesting item was a cold seafood salad which was pretty good. Hearts of palm and artichoke hearts were overbrined. There was a nice salad of black-eyed peas as well. I ordered the grilled red snapper with shrimp and scallops as my main, and got two filets, each of which would have been a respectable serving on its own. Sides were steamed potato, and broccoli, nicely al dente, the way it should be. I ate about half the meal, took the rest home. No room for dessert., but I've never been impressed with desserts in Portuguese or Spanish places, which always look good but promise more than they deliver.

            The menu offers a lot of choices. Their website only has a partial menu. I did not see the wine list.

            Service started off slow, probably because just as we were seated, a party of about 30 came into the dining room and sapped the attention of the staff. Had to ask about the whereabouts of the oysters at one point, but that was the only service issue we had. They came around often, refilling our water glasses and pouring more sangria.

            We used to be regulars at the Spanish Tavern in Mountainside until it went downhill a couple of years ago and we refused to go back. Solar do Minho fills the void and we will definitely return.

            1. re: albinoni

              A reply to my own post, based on a return visit. While still good, it seems that the experience at Solar do Minho will depend on what you order. We had the oysters again and they were perfect. Mains were the monkfish in green sauce, and paella Valenciana. Monkfish was OK, not up to the outstanding red snapper I'd had the week before. Paella was, as mentioned by others, pedestrian. Everything in it was fresh, but somehow the flavor of the whole was less than the sum of the parts. We both agreed that we've had better, but that was years ago, so the search for the perfect paella in New Jersey continues.

              1. re: albinoni

                albinoni- when you find the perfect paella in NJ, please let me know

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