A Quick Visit to Portugal

(By way of Chelsea, that is.)

In looking for a middle ground to meet a visiting friend, and somewhere new and novel to us both, Mac and I landed on Lupulo. Located on the ground floor of the Eventi hotel, and connected to the kitchen at L’Amico, Lupulo boasts a casual, cool and informal scene that feels almost foreign within the confines of Manhattan. Fair enough, now that we learned that the white tiles and much of the décor were brought from Portugal to mock the rustic feel of an authentic Portuguese pub.

Naturally, much of the cuisine is seafood, given the typical fare of Chef Mendes’ homeland of Lisbon. The must-have item that absolutely blew our minds was the Shrimp Porridge. Sounds funny, right? A savory style bread pudding base is mixed with another softly cooked egg and garnished with a few shrimp. The result is a fluffy and delicate appetizer that entices you to savor its richness ever so slowly. Better luck next time – this thing was gone in record time.

To note, the espargos (asparagus) with meyer lemon and sorrel was to die for and the beets dish was equally unique.

Most surprising to me was the Beirao New-Fashioned – a take on our famed favorite but with Chamomile infused Bulleit Bourbon, Aperol and Licor Beirao. Beirao is an herbal liquor that lends a distinct flavor to the drink that is balanced nicely by the sweetness of the aperol.

I will note, this is not a place to go alone – I’d suggest sharing and taking some time to try the plethora of offerings.

P.S. The name itself means “hop” in Portuguese. And the Portuguese word for small plates “Petiscos” is just the cutest lil thing – don’t ya think?

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