The Iberian peninsula is home to both Spain and Portugal. Each country has a magnificently diverse cuisine with lots of emphasis on fresh seafood and the use of subtle and elegant spices. The unique cuisine is not only popular locally. It’s also a cuisine that exports well. New Yorkers are about to get their own taste of this part of the world right on the Lower East Side. Nialls Fallon loves the food of this region. He has teamed up with his chef and partner Nick Perkins for a new venture. They have dubbed the restaurant Cervo, a Portuguese word that means stag and symbolized their quick thinking and plans to move forward. The new restaurant is one with an innovative menu that is all about using fresh ingredients both from the land and the sea. Their emphasis is also about bringing out flavor from olive oil and seafood along with vegetables with a crisp snap.
Lots Of Flavors
Portuguese and Spanish foods often focus on ingredients that are not always familiar to many Americans like sardines and bottaga. The partners at Cervo know that sophisticated New Yorkers will appreciate their determination not to sacrifice authenticity while providing a menu with lots of modern twists. Here, diners can share items like grilled whole fish that has been cooked Portuguese style and flavored with olive oils. They can also try other kinds of dishes that also draw on Mediterranean flavors and easy access to varied seafood. Fat, thick prawns, for example, are flavored with oranges and then topped with sweet chile. Olives make an excellent appetizer when spiked with paprika oil. Main courses include dishes such as squid, mussels and octopus paired with broad beans and grilled mackerel that is topped with green salsa and then served with potatoes. Classic Portuguese wines are offered by the glass along with standard desserts such as flan that are an integral part of the area’s regional cuisine.