Paralyzed by options. A blessing and a curse for New York foodies. With 1,220 bars and 22,320 restaurants, how does one ever choose?
If I ever want to make a dent in that number, I can’t waste my time repeating restaurants. So I came to the decision that I would attempt to go somewhere new every time I went out to eat.
Last night it was Alfama, a quaint little Portuguese spot in Midtown, Manhattan.
It was nice to have a Portuguese native with us to translate the menu. Especially since this was my first time eating their food. But having him there didn’t help me decide any faster. I hemmed and hawed over the foreign menu, where the only thing really jumping out at me was the chourico (you normally see it with the Spanish spelling, chorizo, a type of spiced pork sausage). I knew what that was…it was a delicious, safe bet.
Turns out, they were out of the chourico appetizer…how is that possible?? Chourico to the Portuguese is like…lamb to the Greeks! Or pasta to the Italians! You don’t just RUN out…
But they were out. Out of chourico…out of steak…oh, and their freezer was broken, so no sorbet either.
Alrighty then! I was going to have to step out my comfort zone and try something more exotic.
For my first course (top left), I went with Caldo Verde, a collard green and chourico soup. My main course (bottom) was the Robalinho Grelhado, the grilled branzino, with roasted squash puree, steamed fennel, and beet reduction. And for dessert (top right), I picked the Pasteis de Nata, traditional Portuguese custard tarts, sprinkled with cinnamon and confectioner’s sugar.
Besides the dessert, the above dishes were things I wouldn’t have normally gravitated towards. I’m traditional, and stubborn when it comes to food…but working on it! Last night I was basically forced out of my comfort zone, and of course, the food was divine. Who knew broadening my palate could be so rewarding.