While pondering what to order, we enjoyed ripe, black olives and fresh, crisp, crunchy potato chips. Every time we frequent A Taberna, we order the snails as an appetizer and this visit was no exception. That being said, we also ordered the quail as a starter and both were a lovely way to begin our meal. The snails were soft, smoky, and cooked to perfection. As if this wasn’t enticing enough, they were immersed in garlic, oil, and lemon all of which came together flawlessly. The quail was doused in a garlic, tomato, and citrus sauce that was a wonderful accompaniment to the tender, juicy poultry.
Located on a busy street stands A Taberna; a small, welcoming restaurant that allows you to enjoy the flavors of Portuguese cuisine in Island Park, NY. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a kind host and seated quickly in the dining room, which is separated from the long bar. Within a few moments, our server greeted us, shared the mouthwatering specials, and took our drink order. I have to say that every time we dine at A Taberna the servers are knowledgeable, attentive, and happy, which consistently has a positive impact on the overall dining experience. After deciding on red, The Skinny Chef and I ordered a bottle of Eugenio. Crafted from the main grape varietals found in the Alentejo region of Portugal, this warm, easy to drink wine boasted rich fruity notes of red cherries and hints of tobacco and cocoa. Maintaining a solid structure and incredibly persistent and smooth finish, this delectable wine tingled and danced on my tongue as I enjoyed each and every sip.
Pleased to see monkfish on the menu, The Skinny Chef ordered the Monkfish Kebab for his main course. To his delight, the meaty monkfish was served with scallops, shrimp, sausage, peppers, and onions over a bed of rice. Playfully plated, the kebab was presented as if on a skewer, but the skewer itself had been removed prior to serving so The Skinny Chef could "dig in" if you will without getting his hands dirty. The dish was well seasoned with each protein cooked to the desired temperature and the smoky flavor added by the sausage enhanced the dish as a whole. I decided on Paella because the last time I ordered it in Barcelona, Spain I was extremely disappointed and I am happy to say that this was a completely different experience. Served in a warm, silver pot; the fluffy rice was mixed with fresh peas and bright red and green peppers. The seafood was fresh with the scallops, mussels, and clams cooked to the perfect texture; however, the lobster and shrimp were a bit overcooked and tough. The dish was balanced and although I could taste the saffron used, it wasn’t overpowering. By the end of the night, The Skinny Chef and I enjoyed yet another tasty meal at A Taberna from start to finish.