The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
I’ve been on a Portuguese kick lately. The latest victim: Antonio’s Churrasqueira, located on a semi-industrial stretch of South Long Beach Road in Oceanside.
The brightly lit dining room was neatly appointed, if not terribly elegant. But looks can be deceiving. I ordered a $7 glass of a Portuguese wine I’d never heard of, Visconde de Borba, and was soon presented with a huge, finely wrought, long-stemmed wineglass — empty — and a quartino (little carafe) of wine. A quartino holds about 8½ ounces, or almost 50 percent more than a standard 6-ounce pour. The wine was lovely to boot. (Note to self: Learn more about Portuguese wines.)
The meal to follow was as satisfying and graciously served as the wine. My caldo verde soup was densely populated by chopped collards. Instead of the standard slices of chorizo, the sausage had been diced, so I got some smokey, salty porkiness in every bite. Shrimp in garlic sauce ($12.95) had a briny clarity; there was plenty of sauce left over to mop up with the bread basket’s broa (Portuguese cornbread).
We ordered a paella a Valenciana for one ($30.95) that could easily serve three with its heaps of clams, mussels, shrimp, squid, lobster, chorizo and chicken piled on top of golden rice. Frango, grilled chicken, is one of the glories of the Portuguese kitchen, and it was wonderful. A whole chicken, served with more rice, vegetables and homemade potato chips, is $21.95. You get a salad, too.
I took more food home than I ate, but what did me in were the potato chips that were delivered with the meal; I just ate them till they were gone.
Antonio’s Churrasqueira is at 2455 Long Beach Rd., Oceanside, 516-255-0161, antonioschurrasqueira.com.