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Cervo's

portuguese natural wine cold plates

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#1 Orik

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 12:56 AM

The oysters are delicious. They're tiny, as seems to be the current trend (I'm estimating each oyster is around half the size of a European #3) but really very good.

 

Shrimps are listed as a raw bar item but come cooked (very cooked) and swimming in a beautiful smokey, paprika rich, shrimp reduction sauce. Confusingly they arrive at room temperature even though the sauce screams "hot" but we know nothing about Portugal, so we go with the flow. 

 

Appetizers - fried eggplants turn out to be hard battered,  cheese heavy tiny slices of eggplant (maybe they learned from wildair you can call it anything and just serve batter), and beef tartare with clams is heavy on the clams and juice, but that's not a complaint.

 

Main courses - a whole mackerel dish that at around $25 seems like a steal turns out to be a single tiny (around 0.6 lb) fish that's $3 at our neighborhood Izakaya with some peppers served on a cold plate, which means this too is at room temperature or less. A nice but not terrific lamb burger is protected from the plate by the bun and topped with boquerones. The fish course reminds me that a common main dish in Portugal consists of three mackerels sized about the same as this one.

 

The wine list is short and natural, good. 

 

Prices are very low for current nyc ($200 for two before tip) but given the size of many dishes we end up discovering the belgian fries on Ludlow are very good.

 

If they learn to heat the plates it'd be nice, but it's really hard for me to compose a satisfying meal here. 


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#2 joethefoodie

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 01:58 AM

Thanks...maybe I'll continue to wait.  Could I put together some bread and snacks and wine sitting at the bar?



#3 Wilfrid

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 01:58 AM

That's what I told Tom Colicchio when Craft was family style. :)

Beef tartare with clams? Raw bar version of a carpetbagger? Why not?

#4 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 01:19 PM

Thanks...maybe I'll continue to wait.  Could I put together some bread and snacks and wine sitting at the bar?

He's been a way a while, so maybe you've forgot your translation rubric - that's nearly a rave for an NYC resto.  I just booked it,


"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#5 Orik

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 02:35 PM

Thanks...maybe I'll continue to wait.  Could I put together some bread and snacks and wine sitting at the bar?

 

Yes. If you teach them about warm plates then maybe even more. As of now you'll probably have the bar mostly to yourself. 


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#6 Orik

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 02:40 PM

 

Thanks...maybe I'll continue to wait.  Could I put together some bread and snacks and wine sitting at the bar?

He's been a way a while, so maybe you've forgot your translation rubric - that's nearly a rave for an NYC resto.  I just booked it,

 

 

The hit ratio this time has been so low that we almost went back for a third round of buttery goodness at Sunday in Brooklyn. 


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#7 joethefoodie

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 02:48 PM

Made it to Cervo's this past Tuesday night - their post-Labor Day schedule now includes being open on Tuesdays.

 

While they still have the cold plate syndrome, we enjoyed our meal in the nice back room...if they'd pad those godforsaken benches, it might even be comfortable.

 

Those head-on shrimp, while maybe not quite as overcooked as Ori's, were still a little past what they should've been, but I did indeed mop up that sauce with the ($2) sourdough slices. And our $25 whole fish was a porgy - and was quite a bit larger than what Ori was served. I couldn't finish it all.

 

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Significant Eater's squid and clams dish was super - would've made a great topper for fregola, or something similar. Dessert was a semi-weird, deconstructed vanilla pudding; don't ask.

 

I enjoyed a couple of nice glasses of white, 1 of each of the 3 that they offered, and the pours got a little less stingy each time (the first one was kinda small, in my opinion). Sig Eater drank some cider.

 

For those on a carb free diet, this might be a perfect place. While we didn't seek out fries after dinner, I imagine hungrier diners might. Or at least head up E. Broadway for a cone at Ice & Vice.

 

$170 for us, before tip.

 

COMP DISCLOSURE:  A couple of glasses of sweet vermouth, to go along with our dessert and as an apology for a photographer taking photos while we were eating. Expect something or other in the Times soon.



#8 GerryOlds

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 03:58 PM

COMP DISCLOSURE:  A couple of glasses of sweet vermouth, to go along with our dessert and as an apology for a photographer taking photos while we were eating. Expect something or other in the Times soon.

 

When I sat at the counter a few weeks ago the bartender mentioned that she'd heard Wells had been in. Based on the discussion in the PW thread, I'm guessing it's one star.



#9 joethefoodie

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 04:12 PM

 

COMP DISCLOSURE:  A couple of glasses of sweet vermouth, to go along with our dessert and as an apology for a photographer taking photos while we were eating. Expect something or other in the Times soon.

 

When I sat at the counter a few weeks ago the bartender mentioned that she'd heard Wells had been in. Based on the discussion in the PW thread, I'm guessing it's one star.

 

I wonder if he's eaten at Scarr's Pizza, around the corner, and if he'd rate that higher  :) . (Not for nothing, I think Scarr's is making some excellent pizza).



#10 voyager

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 05:03 PM

What's on top of the fish?    Looks like potato slices with pesto.    And any shots of SE's squid and clam dish?  
 

 

 

 

 

 

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"A meal without wine is called breakfast."   Camille Fourmont


#11 joethefoodie

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 06:40 PM

Yes, potatoes with a sort of pesto - more like basil oil (no cheese or nuts that I can recall).  There were also some nice green olives on the plate.

 

The fish was quite good and cooked to the proper temp.

 

Didn't grab a shot of her dish.



#12 Orik

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 12:56 AM


COMP DISCLOSURE:  A couple of glasses of sweet vermouth, to go along with our dessert and as an apology for a photographer taking photos while we were eating. Expect something or other in the Times soon.

 
When I sat at the counter a few weeks ago the bartender mentioned that she'd heard Wells had been in. Based on the discussion in the PW thread, I'm guessing it's one star.
Probably. If only they switched to cooking like the seasoned pros at Prune and gave the menu a playful spin...

The cold plates I just don't get.
sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#13 joethefoodie

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 12:20 PM

The cold plates I just don't get.

 

Seriously; I fucking warm my plates up at home! 



#14 GerryOlds

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 03:47 PM

Wells, one star. Felt like reading one of those diner's journal blog posts they used to make Bruni and Sifton do.



#15 cinghiale

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 06:42 PM

"There is often a strangely likable beef tartare with littlenecks and so much of the clams' steaming juices that it almost comes across as some kind of mutant chowder."

Most poetic Wells has ever been. Echt.





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