The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene
Mineola: Proud Portuguese at Piri Piri
Envy the personal injury lawyers who work at Sanders, Sanders, Block, Woycik, Viener & Grossman, PC in Mineola. Their office building also houses the four-month-old Portuguese restaurant Piri Piri.
Piri Piri (named for the spicy Portuguese sauce based on the African piri-piri chile pepper) comprises a bar and adjoining restaurant. The same menu is available in both, but it costs a few dollars more in the latter, which is where I dined recently.
The spare dining room was under the command of a courteous gentleman and two young servers. I know only one Portuguese wine, vinho verde. I asked for a glass and it came, fresh and slightly frizzante, in fine stemware. (A later perusal of the wine list revealed a number of interesting Portuguese bottles.) I was also brought olives, marinated carrots and a bread basket where, under the rolls, I found two slices of broa, the dense Portugese bread made from corn and wheat.
I started with sliced octopus in a spicy sauce. Delicious. Then half a “frango de Churrasco a piri-piri,” charcoal-grilled chicken with piri-piri sauce. In fact they forgot the sauce, but that allowed me to better appreciate some of the best grilled chicken I’ve ever had, with white meat as moist as the dark. The freshly cut fries needed some salt, but this was easily remedied. Even the accompanying salad, romaine and watercress, was done with unusual care.
Dishes I did not order but am looking forward to include grilled razor clams, grilled whole striped bass, cataplana (a stew of clams and ham) and baby back ribs.
Piri Piri is at100 Herricks Rd., Mineola, 516-873-9277.