By Danny, Sona, & Sean
After more than four years of bringing Portuguese cuisine to Huntington, the namesake of Fado restaurant – a deeply soulful, rich genre of traditional Portuguese music dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries – came alive for the first time at the New Street restaurant.
There, Fadista Claudia Duarte, direct from the shores of Portugal, brought the unique art form alive in the cozy confines of the restaurant, totally unplugged and unvarnished, every movement made with purpose as she sang in the restaurant’s airy, homey second-floor space which seats 45 comfortably.
For the owners – Eddie and Allison Nobre – it was a second dream accomplished. The first was to open a Portuguese restaurant. The second? Well, that’s why Duarte was in town.
During a Fado performance, it is customary to remain totally silent so you can best experience the full depth of emotion in the performance – which is very fitting for a restaurant whose continued focus on excellence in traditional and modern Portuguese cuisine does a stellar job in leaving diners speechless with delight.
We started out the same way we always do at Fado – with bread served in Portuguese bread bags and black olives prepared in garlic and oil.
New this visit was North American Salmon Tartar ($12), a zesty, citrusy delight bursting with flavor. Lulas Fritas ($13) are perfectly crisp, tender and buttery morsels of fried squid, served with a pair of dipping sauces. Rissois de Carne y Queso ($11), beef puff pastries, are a savory, spiced delight that melts in your mouth. And you can’t go wrong with Fado’s classic starter, fire-roasted Chourico na Brasa ($11).
Entrees shine equally bright. Bife a Portuguesa ($34), a succulent rib eye of prime beef, will delight any beef aficionado in your party with every bite.
Paelha da Terra e Mar ($32), a decadent medley of chourico, mussels, squid, clams, shrimp, scallops and a half lobster, is delightful in its simplicity and enhanced by a slight peppery kick atop a bed of saffron rice.
And Long Island Duck ($29), a special during our visit, is fall-off-the-bone tender and, filled with tastefully tart oranges, plump cranberries and roasted pumpkin seeds, personifies the homey warmth of autumn.
Desserts like dark chocolate mousse, Crème Brulee cheesecake and traditional flan, their signature dessert, remain after-dinner must-haves.
Eddie and Allison have plenty on their plates in the coming months. An autumn menu is coming soon; keep your eyes on these pages for updates when it arrives. They’ll be participating in Dine Huntington Restaurant Week Oct. 12-19. You can also catch them at Appliance World Oct. 8, where Fado will commandeer a kitchen station as part of Huntington Rotary’s $45 p.p. food-tasting event for the Rotary’s Gift of Life program, which provides life-saving heart surgeries for children in need from around the world.
Jam-packed? No doubt. But it’s all in a day’s work for Huntington’s bards of fine Portuguese dining.