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It’s Carnaval at Adega

By Terri Hefner Photos By Nathalie Walker
February 10, 2013

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Vegetarian Dish ($15)

Vegetarian Dish ($15)

Portagee jokes aside, the Portuguese culture is strong here in the Islands, and home to many Brazilian ex-pats as well. But there’s more to Portuguese food than malassadas and bean soup (although they do ‘em well here), and Adega Portuguesa is the place to discover it.

Owner Trigo De Silva, who hails from Brazil, opened the eatery just about a year ago when he noticed the lack of authentic Portuguese cuisine here. On the menu you’ll find a variety of traditional dishes, with Bitoque ($19), a Portuguese-style steak loco moco, the familiar Vino D’alhos ($19), a vinegar-marinated pork loin dish, and Bacalhau A Adega ($22), codfish topped with onions, red peppers and garlic, among them — as is the simply named Vegetarian Dish ($15).

This simmered rice dish, similar to a paella, contains a medley of vegetables including broccoli and cauliflower, peas, mushrooms, onions and carrots sauteed in a mildly spiced tomato sauce and garnished with black olives, parsley and paprika. It’s a generous plate perfect for sharing, or just right for one hungry vegetarian.

Stop by every third Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. for a Taste of Brazil — $15 (no Hot Deals or coupons accepted, reservations recommended) for five samples of traditional Brazilian dishes. De Silva brings in guest chefs for the evening, so if you have a Brazilian specialty to share, give him a call and you could make your debut as a guest chef at Adega. Fun!

There’s more in store, with live entertainment just about every evening (except Mondays, when a Portuguese language class is offered, furthering the cultural immersion here). Sandy Tsukiyama provides the dinner music Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m., rocking the house in her classic bossa nova style, and she’s just one of many talented musicians in the weekly lineup. Speaking of entertainment, it’s time for Mardi Gras, and Fat Tuesday (Feb. 12) brings a fabulous, over-the-top carnival to the streets of Chinatown. Samba on down from 6 to 10 p.m. as the big, free Nuuanu Avenue block party features New Orleans-style Cajun food and fun, arts and crafts, street vendors, Brazilian music and costumed dancers, a parade with elaborate floats — and the party continues at Adega Portuguesa until 2 a.m.

Tempo de festa!

Adega Portuguesa

1138 Smith St.
Bar: 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m.
Kitchen: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Buffet: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily