By Sally Deering
The Paulus Hook section of Jersey City located downtown near Exchange Place is a mix of old and new brownstones and hi-rises, small and big businesses, and restaurants and bars tucked inside the nooks and crannies of this beautiful neighborhood. One charming and cozy bistro is the Lisbon Bar & Restaurant on York Street, a tiny gem of a restaurant that serves traditional Portuguese cuisine to its neighborhood clientele and regulars who have been dining at Lisbon since it first opened around the corner on Warren Street 20 years ago.
When the lease ran out on their space on Warren Street a few years ago, the Lisbon re-opened its doors around the corner on York. That seems to be the only big change, says Joe Cunha, Lisbon’s manager. The menu has pretty much stayed the same, traditional and modern Portuguese and Spanish cuisine featuring seafood, meat, poultry and pasta dishes using fresh ingredients and flavored with the spices of Portugal and Spain.
The restaurant is warm and welcoming with a busy bar partitioned off from the dining room which seats around 40 guests at tables covered in burgundy and white linens. The service is impeccable – friendly and efficient – with dishes briskly cleared between courses. And along with the many dishes on the menu, the Lisbon has a wine list that features wines from Portugal, Spain, Italy, California and more. The house Sangria is a delicious mix of Merlot wine, brandy and fresh fruits like strawberries and apples, spices and seasonings.
As soon as guests are seated in the dining room, the waiter brings over a basket of hot and crusty Portuguese bread that is absolutely delicious and hard to resist. I used some of it to dip into the balsamic vinaigrette dressing served over the Lisbon’s hearty house salad of greens, onions, tomatoes and olives. For an appetizer, I tried Shrimp in Garlic Sauce – fresh crunchy grilled shrimp seasoned just right and Stuffed Mushrooms, which were stuffed with crabmeat and very tasty. For an entrée, I tried the Shrimp and Chicken Francaise served over Linguini and this hearty dish was so big, I had to take half home in a doggie bag.
Here’s a sampling of the menu: Appetizers include Shrimp in Garlic Sauce; Shrimp Cocktail; Fried Calamari, Sauteed Portuguese Chourico; Stuffed Mushrooms; Clams Casino with Bacon ($9.95). Fish dishes include Fried or Broiled Filet of Sole; Stuffed Flounder Filet; Fried Seafood Combination; Broiled Red Snapper Filet; Broiled Sea Bass and Grilled Salmon ($14.95-$19.95).
Shellfish dishes include Paelha Marinheira (lobster, shrimp, clams, scallops and mussels); Twin Broiled Lobster Tails; Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp; and a Grilled Shellfish Combination or Parrilhada de Marisco ($16.95-$39.95).
Pasta dishes feature Linguini with White or Red Clam Sauce; Cheese Tortellini with Garden Vegetables; and Mussels or Calamari over Linguini or Ziti ($13.05-$14.95.)For Steak lovers, there’s the 18-oz. Filet Mignon cooked “On the Stone” where the chef cooks the steak on a hot stone right at your table ($28.95). Other Steak dishes include Roast Prime Rib; Flame-Grilled 24-oz. T-Bone; Grilled Shell Steak; Grilled Sirloin Steak Lisbon Style and Boneless Sirloin Portuguese Style with Ham and Fried Egg ($17.95-$24.95).
Pork dishes feature Grilled Pork Chops in Garlic Sauce; BBQ Spare Ribs with a piri-piri sauce; and Sauteed Pork with Clams – a specialty at Lisbon ( $13.95-$15.95). And there are Veal, Lamb and Chicken Dishes like Grilled Veal Chops ($24.95); Grilled New Zealand Rack of Lamb ($24.95); and Chicken Francaise ($13.95).
There’s a lunch menu, specials and desserts like the homemade Flan which was the best I have ever tasted. At the Lisbon Restaurant & Bar, the service is fine and the food divine. Next time you’re looking for a cozy bistro, visit Lisbon for some of the best Portuguese cuisine in Hudson.
Lisbon Bar & Restaurant
100 York Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Open 7 days;
Kitchen is open Sun-Thurs from 11:30 am – 10 p.m.;
Fri and Sat. until 11 p.m.
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