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Luso review

Luso's bacalhau, or salt cod, arrives savory and

Luso's bacalhau, or salt cod, arrives savory and just saline enough, with potatoes, onions and peppers. (May 11, 2013) Credit: Heather Walsh

Levels of protein consumption and cholesterol must be soaring in Smithtown.

For this spike, credit Luso, the recently relocated and now sprawling, all-you-can-eat churrasqueira devoted to Portuguese "wood-char BBQ." Endless skewers of sizzling grilled beef, pork, sausages and bacon-wrapped turkey are brandished here. And the restaurant often is as full as the departing diners.

Although reveling in rodizio (skewered meat brought to the table) is the meaty appeal of Luso, you also may order beef, chicken and seafood a la carte. Almost everything is available to go, too, just in case the entire soccer team is dropping in tonight.

This had been the site of Sertinos Cafe, a short-lived, casual spot for sandwiches. You could take every dish that was served there and it would amount to a palate teaser at Luso.

The only thing streamlined about Luso is the design, though even that includes plenty of ceramic fowl and a fireplace that sports an artful clock, perhaps to gauge the speed of your consumption.

Immediately, you receive a salad of iceberg lettuce, pale sliced tomatoes and onion, plus a dish of olives, all of which account for Luso's diet fare. Given what follows, it may be enough to constitute your unofficial appetizer.

But order the satisfying caldo verde, a soup with potatoes and shredded greens. Or maybe a brothy bowl of steamed clams with white-wine sauce and lemon. Perhaps, the big ringlets of grilled calamari, too. True Lusonians, however, find their essential opener in the excellent grilled and sliced chouriço sausage, finished with pickled vegetables.

The rodizio of grilled meats, however, is an uneven affair, so be selective. A lot of the red meat is overcooked, with a recent slice of skirt steak suggesting industrial belting leather; cubes of beef, closer to full-grain. But top sirloin is good. Turkey wrapped with bacon stays moist; sausages also do.

A la carte, skip the chewy prime rib in favor of a thin but tender porterhouse steak. Grilled pork chops are a juicy alternative. Barbecued chicken: depends on your luck.

Two very good main courses are seafood. Bacalhau, or salt cod, arrives savory and just saline enough, with potatoes, onions and peppers. The whole, grilled branzino also is recommended. It requires only a squirt of lemon.

For dessert, pick the chocolate mousse or the flan instead of the bland rice pudding or the ode to egg whites and caramel dubbed "heavenly whites," which is closer to purgatory than paradise.

There go the tryglycerides.

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