Marisqueira Mediterranean Bistro

29 Feb

I spend an absurd amount of money on Groupon, LivingSocial, and Google offer coupons for restaurants.  Every time I see a restaurant pop up that I like or that I’ve been intending to try, I am suckered into buying the deal.  The upside is that it saves me a couple bucks when I actually make it to the restaurant, the downside is that I’m constantly shoveling out money for coupons…whoops!

Appetizers: Calimari, artichoke hearts stuffed with crab, and cockels in a garlic/beer sauce

Tonight we dined at a lovely Portuguese restaurant in Aspinwall. Portuguese? In Aspinwall? Who knew! I had never heard of Marisqueira Mediterranean Bistro until the LivingSocial offer popped into my inbox.  Aspinwall is a charming suburb, and the restaurant had good Yelp reviews, so I was excited to try it out.

Mr. Beez and I dined with our friend Krista.  Krista has actually been to Portugal, so she was able to give us the lowdown on Portuguese food, and said that Marisqueira seemed authentic to her.

The staff was extremely friendly, and the service was attentive.  For being such a small restaurant, the menu was extensive and they had tons of appetizer and entree specials.   A huge section of the menu is devoted to fish and seafood choices, but there are also a number of beef and poultry dishes, as well as vegetarian selections.  They also have a decent wine selection, both by the bottle and the glass.

The flavors were rich and the portions were generous.  We were overzealous in our appetizer orders, leaving all of us too full to finish our entrees.  Our overstuffed bellies meant dessert was entirely out of the question (exercise restraint if you want to make it to the sweets!)

For my entree, I had the trout stuffed with crab and shrimp.  The dish was so tasty, and although the dish didn’t taste like butter, the only way I can think to describe it is “buttery”…the flavors were warm and comforting and rich but not overpowering.

Marisqueria would be perfect for a romantic evening out.   I could also envision this as an ideal location for a fancy meal with grandparents or other less-than-bold diners.  The menu has many dishes that even if their Portuguese names aren’t immediately recognizable, the style of food is familiar enough that it would be a fine choice for a meal with diners who might be scared away by the latest trend restaurant.  This is not to say the food is boring, it certainly is not– it is just very approachable.

I did make reservations for our dinner, but tonight they didn’t happen to be necessary (Tuesday isn’t the hottest night to go out on the town).  The restaurant is very small, so I would recommend reservations to make sure you get a table.

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