Those April showers have brought flowers, including our favorite one–Rosie Saferstein, here with her monthly Final Friday roundup. See you Monday–Andrea Clurfeld
The Safersteins love discovering restaurants like Sabor Unido. Upon entering this Portuguese and Brazilian gem in Newark’s Ironbound section, we heard a woman speaking German to a man behind the counter; an African American couple were sitting next to us; and a Portuguese father and son were bonding over food.
This multiethnic mix, the friendly staff, delicious food, big portions, fair prices and BYO made for a pleasurable experience. Don’t be deterred by the lack of ambience. It’s the food that counts here.
Specials with their prices were written on a blackboard. Our waiter graciously explained the menu. Perfectly cooked shrimp were doused in a garlic sauce so good we sopped it up with bread.
Deep fried sweet potatoes accompanied a whole juicy bronzino. This was more than enough for three people, so we took quite a bit home.Every Saturday, Brazilian pork stew is on the menu; Sunday brings Portuguese mixed meats.
Also recommended are the crispy sausage coins with deep-fried cubes of yucca reminiscent of French fries but better.
Roasted sardines are a favorite of Lowell’s, and he loved them here. They are not my favorite fish, but these were the best sardines that I did not like!
Entrees come with two sides; we had a skirt steak special with sautéed onions, fried plantains and brown, not black, beans. (Brown is what they eat in Brazil).
Fresh detox juices are available. The restaurant uses alkaline water with a high ph of 9.5 in preparing and washing food. That won’t matter to most people, but it’s important information for some.
Leave room for dessert. The vibrant red/purple custard cream bavaroise was topped with a mixture of cooked red grapes which added sweetness to tart cranberries. We were fighting over the last spoonful. Brazilian style flan, chocolate mousse, tres leches and passion fruit mousse are a few of the other options.
Sabor Unido, 77 Jefferson Street, Newark 973-368-8553 saborunido.com
ROSIE’S SHOUT OUTS:
This noisy, family-friendly restaurant is known for “thinny thin” crust pizzas. The large menu offers appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas (half or full portions) and entrees at very reasonable prices. We recommend the stuffed artichoke; humongous tender pork shank with thick tomato sauce; and house-made coconut cream pie. We prefer a thicker crust pizza than what is served here.
At 5 pm on a Sunday night the restaurant was one-quarter full and too noisy for us. By 6, people were waiting for tables. Reservations are taken only for parties of 6 or more. Open daily from 11 AM.
Angeloni’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, 6 Brookside Avenue, Caldwell 973-226-1234 angelonispizzeria.com BYO
IL CAPRICCIO, WHIPPANY
Our surprise treat for a “lady who lunches” birthday was Il Capriccio, beautiful and upscale, with attentive service and distinguished food.
For starters we recommend the refreshing shredded zucchini salad or seafood salad. Or share a pasta, especially the pasta quills in rabbit ragout.
A favorite of ours is sea bass over broccoli rabe and cannellini beans; another is dayboat scallops on butternut squash puree surrounded by rafts of polenta, topped with fried pancetta and sautéed mushrooms. Veal, pork, lamb and chicken are also available. Crunchy oat streusel, topped with dulce de leche gelato, hot caramel sauce, and candied walnuts creates a luscious cover for cinnamon apple slices. Ours had Happy Birthday written in chocolate on the plate.
Il Capriccio, 633 Rt 10 E, Whippany 973-884-9175 ilcapriccio.com
PF MARKET, WEST CALDWELL
It is all about the fish at PF Market, which only offers two meat entrees: chicken and short ribs.
The large baby arugula salad with beets, candied walnuts, red onions and crumbled goat cheese with honey balsamic dressing was large enough for two to share.
A marinara came with tender fried calamari; a worthwhile starter. Soft shell crabs will be cooked to your preference. We had them Francasie, and they were crunchy and delicious.
A slab of tuna was seared, served rare inside and was reminiscent of a rich steak.
We also recommend Eastern halibut with roasted garlic parmesan crust, sautéed spinach and cauliflower puree as well as pan-seared black sea bass over sautéed cauliflower, red beans, white beans and baby carrots in a lemon white wine sauce.
Desserts are not made in house, so we opted for (and gobbled up) Greek yogurt with walnuts and honey.
PF Market offers valet parking on weekends. It was very noisy on a Saturday night. Try mid-week for a quieter lunch or dinner.
PF Market, 1090 Bloomfield Avenue, West Caldwell 973-227-1007 pfmarket.net BYO
Photos: Lowell SafersteinClick here to leave a comment