Ceia: Anyone Tried This New Spot in Newburyport?
I'm the first to admit that I'm a cynic when it comes to new restaurants in the hinterlands. I'm also the first to say that i really wish my experiences hadn't resulted in that cynicism. Newburyport is such a beautiful town and lively community; i want it to have top notch restaurants. So can Ceia be that? Their website leaves me in doubt, but a local/ resident friend has heard "it's great" . Anyone tried it? Thanks much.
I have tried this place, and my wife has been twice. I was very impressed with it. Like you hinted at, Newburyport has no good restaurants, so I was very excited to finally have a place I don't have to drive half an hour to. Highly recommended.
It certainly sounds interesting and I want to give it a shot, but I just wish they would stop calling a beef sandwich a "bifana" (which is a pork sandwich in Portugal) as it looks like a tasty if non-traditional sandwich loosely taken from a "prego no pão." It does appear like they are sincere in taking the owner's family (Portuguese) recipes and have the french trained chef give them a touch up, without going too far overboard. BTW, the Globe or boston.com blurb on such sandwich is fun reading though, using great Food Network clichés such as "souped-up," "smothered," and mentions how the steak is "stuffed inside" an "open-face sandwich" (the picture does show two halves of bread so the newspaper is probably right, but they call it an open-face sandwich as does the menu). I don't think online content gets the same editorial oversight as print (at least some way to privately submit feedback to the author would be nice instead of listing initials).
We did go there last month w/ local friends, but all of us left disappointed w/ flavor, pricing and esp. proportions.Sub-par service as well. Black Trumpet, just 20 min.North, is easily 2 or 3 times the better experience, on all fronts(and easily equal to some of Boston's best.) From what we experienced, 4 apps and 4 entrees, the Ceia chef seemed old school (as in suburban Marriotts) and the menu descriptions were deceiving.