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Piri Piri

Frango de churrasco, a Portuguese grilled chicken, is

Frango de churrasco, a Portuguese grilled chicken, is one of the entrees served at Piri Piri, a Portuguese restaurant in Mineola.
(Sept. 19, 2010) Photo Credit: Yana Paskova

Piri Piri, the new Portuguese restaurant on a stretch of road that would challenge Magellan, is a little discovery. It's a full-flavored Portuguese restaurant and bar that stands out even in an anonymous office building along a dreary industrial row. Check your sextant.

Eventually, you'll find a bright but spare dining room, with some modest artwork meant to evoke the sea and the old country. A door away is the busy bar, where you also may eat heartily. Service is friendly and helpful in both, befitting what's clearly a destination eatery, unless you happen to be lost.


Six centuries ago, Prince Henry the Navigator directed Portuguese explorers to return with a full, new larder. They brought back everything from the tomato to the pineapple. At Piri Piri, which is named for the hot sauce and peppers that rarely make an appearance here, ripe tomatoes are paired with discs of mild, fresh cheese. It's a very good opener. Grilled linguiça, or slightly spicy and smoky pork sausage, sliced and set afire table-side, tastes terrific. Enjoy it with the house's dense bread, made with corn and wheat, and some queijo fresco, or more fresh cheese. Sauteed and sliced octopus, in olive oil with garlic and parsley; and shrimp sauteed in orange sauce, also are easily recommended. The kitchen gets going with bacalhau asado, or grilled salt cod accompanied by boiled potatoes, roasted peppers and steamed vegetables. Bacalhau cozido adds chick peas and a boiled egg to the cured cod and vegetables. The seaside specialties continue with whole, grilled fish, notably striped bass and fluke. The side dishes don't change. The best main course is frango de churrasco, or juicy barbecued chicken served with fries and a salad. Obligatory desserts: flan tres leches and flambéed pineapple


Overdone cockles, chewy pork steak, greasy barbecued short ribs. Unevenly cooked cataplana, or copper skillet, of shellfish; and dry seafood with rice.


Fortified for fall.


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