Mon-Thu, 6pm-11pm; Fri, 6pm-midnight; Sat, noon-3pm and 6pm-midnight; Sun, noon-3pm and 5pm-11pm
1 at Christopher St.-Sheridan Sq.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This venue is closed.
New Yorkers who venture beyond the boroughs know Portuguese food mainly from rustic paelha in Newark’s Ironbound District and roadside pork-and-clam stew in Rhode Island. Alfama’s mission is to showcase the maritime nation’s cuisine in all its refinement and variety. It is named for Lisbon’s oldest, artiest, and most-intimate quarter—its version of Greenwich Village. And like the Village, the restaurant has a neighborly air, drawing couples who murmur at window or sidewalk tables, friends who catch up in the buzzy main room, and expats who work through Alfama’s deep list of Portuguese wines and ports. The seasonal menus present classics like chouriço sausage, flambéed at the table on a traditional, pig-shaped ceramic brazier, and bacalhau, Portugal’s ubiquitous salt cod. Mingled with shrimp, cream, and garlic, blanketed with Azoran cheese, and baked in a crock, the dish resembles crème brulée not just in appearance but in irresistibility. The bistro-style dishes flaunt the flavors of Portuguese trade routes: piri-piri pepper from Angola, Brazilian farofa flour, and, accompanying rich duck confit, a petite potato galette that evokes Alsace. Scholarly diners will discern a millennium’s worth of global exploration on Alfama’s menu; the rest will just have a good time.Brunch
Sat.–Sun., noon–3 p.m.
Wed., 8 p.m.–10:30 p.m., fado; Thu. and Sun., 8 p.m.–10:30 p.m., jazz
Alfama co-owner and mixmaster Tarcisio Costa designs cocktails with surprising ingredients that work. A Tosta mixes Stoli, Frangelico, and Laphroaig single-malt Scotch; the effect is seductive and smoky. The addictive Doce Sonho combines Maker’s Mark bourbon, Drambuie, cream of cacao, and lemon juice.