Mon-Thu, noon-10pm; Fri, noon-11pm; Sat, 11am-3pm and 5:30pm-11pm; Sun, 11am-3pm and 5:30pm-10pm
E, M at Lexington Ave.-53rd St.; 6 at 51st St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
In late 2011, Alfama traded its adorable white columned space on a charming Hudson Street block for a humdrum contemporary box on a characterless strip of midtown east. Décor highlights are bright orange banquettes upholstered in pebbled leather and a backlit mirrored glass wall of cartographical doodlings. The small space gets jammed during dinner service: The air fills with convivial chatter (much of it in Portuguese) and the scent of fresh-baked bread—there are fourteen types of housemade rolls (available for sale during the day). If you lived in the neighborhood, you would return again and again for a plate of piri piri chicken that takes a while to cook but is supremely worth waiting for. Vaguely piquant crispy skin wraps around juicy poultry flesh; the freshly fried potato chips served alongside are unrecognizably different from the bagged variety. Other than that, the menu doesn’t go out of its way to draw anyone to this corner of the city.Recommended Dishes
Piri piri chicken, $19