New York

Our Man Sietsema: ‘Like drinking pork barbecue’


This week, Sietsema makes nice with the açorda at Alfama, which he describes thusly: “Ringed with shrimp, mussels, clams, and a pair of giant scallops, it arose like a volcano out of the rich seafood broth.” Sounds good, right? But it wasn’t always so.

The restaurant’s açorda had once been a bone of contention with me. When Alfama first opened in the West Village six years ago, intent on attracting a gay clientele by dressing waiters in white sailor suits with blue-ribboned hats, the chef created a menu of transformed Portuguese standards that resembled their originals in name only. Açorda—a homely dish I’d learned to love in Portugal—was transformed into a fancy shrimp flan, with none of the comfort-food value of the original. Other Portuguese fare I earnestly craved was nowhere to be found.

But the greatest news this week is that Alfama, where appetizers are in the teens and entrees hover around $30, offers special fixed menus on Mondays and Tuesdays. Wait. What’s like drinking pork barbecue at a Portuguese place? Go read the review yourself.

551 Hudson Street
(212) 645-2500

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