Omanel in Bridgeport
It's been one of our favorites for years. The steamed clams and garlic shrimp are great appetizers, and they really shine doing seafood: paella, mariscada, pork and clams, seafood in red or green sauce. Probably the best deal is their almost perpetual special of grilled lobster: 1 1/4 lb lobster w/their very addictive fried potatoes and salad for $18.95. The last time we ate there, we split a steamed clam app, both had lobsters, 2 espressos, and a bottle of vinho verde and the total bill was less than $70!
wanted to post an update that I tried it this weekend, and it's definitely going to be on the normal rotation. Loved the garlic shrimp App, and the great rolls were perfect for mopping. The seafood in the paella was fresh, plentiful, and perfectly cooked, but overall the dish was a bit bland for my taste. Can't wait to try some other things like the seafood stews.
Hey Johnny CT, don't be such a stranger to the New England board! Come on now. You've shared so many unique "ethnic" eats, spots not appreciated and left unexplored by some of the Chow-snobs, plus the gems that fly under the food radar of the pseudo-scribes that revel in seeing themselves post and "weighing in" on EVERYTHING(whether they've tried it or not) that it's great to see you in the mix whenever you get on the site.
Omanel has been such a nice find since we saw Lisboa in Waterbury slipping so badly some time ago. It was enough to make us stop going but admittedly there was nothing quite like Lisboa's Bacalhau Bras, Carne de Porca Alentejana, and spicy Grilled Quails during the many consistent years and countless meals we enjoyed. While all of these dishes are good in their own way at Omanel it is the balance, relative value, and specials that have had us continuing to go back.
The Steamed Clams mentioned here(in white-wine broth and their own simple but delicious seasonings) are quite nice as are the Garlic Shrimp(perhaps misnamed as they are quite spicy and similar to the Shrimp Mozambique found elsewhere..but with Omanel giving more generously sized shrimp). The warm rolls served are always nice to enjoy all of the sauces and the wine list(while not as extensive as O'Porto in Hartford) is priced very reasonably when compared to the other aforementioned Waterbury spot and former sure-shot of quality.
The Saturday-only lunch specials of Dobrada, Suckling Pig, and Cabrito are limited but all are worth calling for to assure a share when arriving should you choose to dine later in the day or evening. All the Bacalhau dishes are quite good but we found a different baked one on the last visit to be the best of the bunch(Narcisa...it is listed right near the Bacalhau Gomes dish). This one was prepared with rather addictive big slices of seasoned roasted potato, onions, and olives...but I never saw such thick pieces of this kind of cod before! Very nicely done. Even the potatoes served with one of the Saturday specials is a pleasant surprise as the seasoned boil makes for a lovely colored appearance and taste. Simple stuff to mention but it's all of the little things that add up here.
1909 Main St, Bridgeport, CT 06604
If you enjoy garlic, you must try the Açorda à Alentejana -- Garlic and Egg Soup. It's one of those dishes that you don't put on the menu unless you care about it, and clearly, someone there does care.
I think, though, that when I try to make it, I'll be roasting the garlic before it goes into the soup.