It’s no secret that we love Portuguese food (and Portugal in general!). After multiple unforgettable trips to Porto, Lisbon, the Algarve and Madeira, we have been wanting to go back.
But wait…what if we attempted to find the same at home in New York City. Can it exist?
The answer is a resounding YES! Look no further than 31 W 17th Street, about a block west of Union Square, and you’ll find Aldea, the one and only Michelin-starred Portuguese restaurant in New York. Chef George Mendes is an artist, who has worked with some of the greatest chefs in the world, and his work is spectacular.
Couple of highlights from a memorable dinner:
- Food: simply amazing and a standalone reason for the Michelin star. On a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the worst, and 5 being the best) Aldea scores an excellent 4.5 for its food quality and creativity.
- Service: very good. Friendly and efficient without being pretentious or over the top. A strong 4 out of 5.
- Atmosphere: simple and quaint. We loved the small and intimate space, but felt that the decor felt a bit too plain for the quality of the venue. A mixed 3.5 out 5.
- Price & value: we chose the 4-course dinner prix fixe at $89pp and were blown away. The value proposition is out of this world, with a top score of 5 out 5 does.
- Quantity: you will have enough food and probably will not be going home hungry! Portion sizes felt just right, this is not a small meal, nor an excessive feast.
- Duration: our dinner-date lasted close to 2 hours, but we tend to eat slow and take our time. Not a sub 1-hour quick meal given our 4-course choice, but it can probably be done if you go a la carte. For those who have time, you will be able to enjoy a nice long dinner that is perfect for a date or relaxed night out.
- Would we go again? Absolutely. Not a question of if, just a question of when!
- Any particular tips or advice? The “Diver Sea Scallops” & “Arroz De Pato” (duck) alone are worth the visit, and for dessert we’d recommend the “Sonhos”, which in Aldea’s words are “Portuguese ‘little dreams’ beignets with chocolate caramel sauce and passion fruit custard”. Still dreaming about them now!
- Any parting words? If you’re going as a couple, make sure to complement each other’s entree. You want to try as much as you can, this is not the place for redundant choices!
Our verdict: a very solid 4.4 out of 5 overall for this absolute gem. We will be back.
More pics to follow, but here’s a first look at the Diver Sea Scallops:
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The famous “Diver Sea Scallops” from our dinner last night at @aldeanyc! 👌 Topped with foie gras and surrounded by fermented Japanese turnips, Apple’s, Catskills Mt ramp and chicken jus. . The entire dinner experience was amazing, but one could just get that one entree and come home with a big smile on their face! 😉 Chef @geomendes is really, really good. . #thetravelingplates #newyorkcity #aldeanyc #foodie #portuguesefood #scallops #foiegras #michelinstar #turnips #apples #chickenjus #yum #beautifulfood #foodinspiration #eatfortheinsta #luxuryfood
And a couple of additional useful links:
- Aldea’s official website: www.aldearestaurant.com
- Dinner menu: Menu: www.aldearestaurant.com/dinner
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/aldeanyc
- Michelin guide: guide.michelin.com/us/new-york/aldea/restaurant
- Yelp reviews: www.yelp.com/biz/aldea-new-york
- NY Mag restaurant reviews: nymag.com/listings/restaurant/aldea
- NY Eater: ny.eater.com/maps/michelin-starred-restaurants-nyc/aldea
- Zagat: www.zagat.com/r/aldea-new-york
- The Infatuation: www.theinfatuation.com/new-york/reviews/aldea
- Book with OpenTable: www.opentable.com/r/aldea-new-york
Anything else you’d like to know? Let us know in the comments! Also interested in additional feedback from others who’s tried this amazing place.