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Alfama reignites good Portuguese cuisine
Oh, how we have missed you, Alfama.
Since the beloved restaurant lost the lease on its West Village location in 2009, there has been a western Iberian hole in the heart of New York dining.
Now, the team behind Alfama has reopened one of the city's finest Portuguese restaurants in Midtown East. Our frustrated salt-cod fantasies can now be sated.
To begin, we attacked chef Francisco Rosa's sublime bolos de bacalhau ($9), deep-fried grenades of smooth salt cod and potato set on a light chickpea puree. For a complementary taste of the land, we also ordered chouriço, blackened over a flaming slick of aguardente, Portugal's answer to grappa.
Then, on to more bacalhau, this time the daily salt-cod special ($22), a browned, comforting gratin of still more salt cod and potatoes, bound with cream sauce. And, Portugal's iconic chicken preparation, frango no churrasco ($19), was the apotheosis of grilled bird, the chicken marinated with lively piri-piri sauce and its skin uniformly crisp and charred.
The wine flowed from the intensely Portuguese list, the meal ended with shattering miniature custard tarts ($9) and we realized yet again that life can never have too much salt cod in it.
Alfama, 214 E. 52nd St. (at Third Ave.); 212-759-5552 or alfamanyc.com
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