The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene
Olé Portuguese in Farmingville
Horseblock Road in Farmingville is punctuated by Portuguese establishments, most of which are workaday bars, full of local color but often short on English-speaking employees.
Olé, on the other hand, is a great place for diners unfamiliar with Portuguese cooking to get their feet wet. The restaurant’s dining room, entirely separate from its bar, is well appointed (if a bit dated); the menu is in both English and Portuguese.
I started off with a bowl of caldo verde ($3.75), the Portuguese national soup. Caldo verde (literally hot, green broth) involves a puree of potatoes enlivened with shredded greens (usually collards or kale) and slices of sausage. Olé’s version was light and subtle. The finely shredded greens had obviously been added at the end of cooking because they were still bright and slightly crunchy.
As good as the soup was, it did not prepare me for my main course, possibly the best grilled squid I have ever had. Four nice-sized squid had been cooked to the perfect point between chewy and tender, their sweet flavor accented by the caramelization of the grill. Two were sufficient, but I could not stop until I had consumed all four — a steal at $15.75. (The squid were accompanied by some inoffensive boiled potatoes and a huge pile of broccoli and string beans, watery and flavorless.)
Olé specializes in seafood, offering almost two dozen appealing dishes, most of which are well under $20. A return visit (with reinforcements for sharing) is clearly in order.
Olé Restaurant is at 630 Horseblock Rd., Farmingville, 631-698-4944.