Something different that is going to surprise you …

8-16-2015 9-15-47 PMMuch has happened in the dining world since George Mendes who grew up in a Portuguese-American family in Connecticut and trained with a fighter pilot’s intensity under some of the great chefs in Europe (Alain Ducasse, Martín Berasategui) opened his discreet, Michelin-starred restaurant, Aldea, in the big city six long years ago, and you can tell that his newest venture, Lupulo, has been designed, for better or worse, to keep up with these rapidly changing times.

Mr. Mendes’s basic idea for Lupulo, which opened a few blocks south of Herald Square in April, was straightforward enough. The name means “hops,” and the place is his take on the beer-centered Portuguese taverns called cervejarias. The nearest American equivalent is probably a brewpub, which Lupulo resembles with its hard, low wooden chairs, its high ceilings and its U-shaped dining bar stretching off into the distance.

Drawing on his heritage and travels throughout the country, Mendes has put together a menu of Portuguese comfort food to pair with the beers including a small plates menu of items like crispy shrimp turnovers, chicken liver pate, artisanal meats and salt cod croquettes with piri piri mayo. For mains, the focus is seafood — shrimp porridge, oven-baked octopus, and salt cod casserole for two (my fave). You’ll also find sections with veggies and meat with items like dry-aged beef rib cooked on an asador and a mushroom and tomato stew.

8-16-2015 10-32-08 PM The corner space is dominated by a long, three-sided bar.

8-16-2015 10-32-53 PM Lupulo’s entrance.

8-16-2015 10-33-49 PM  George Mendes

8-16-2015 10-34-21 PM Açorda de camarão: shrimp porridge, egg, parsley, and chile pepper.

8-16-2015 10-48-38 PM Salt cod croquettes

8-16-2015 10-34-48 PM Ervilhas com chouriço e ovo: green peas, choriço, and sunny-side-up egg.

8-16-2015 10-13-26 PMBacalhau a Gomes de Sa: Salt Cod Casserole of potato, olives and eggs.

10-3-2015 2-07-37 PM

My favorite dessert Pasteis de Nata

10-3-2015 4-19-09 PM

Lupulo is now offering lunch and breakfast items to-go at a new counter operation on the corner of 29th Street and Sixth Avenue called BICA. The menu features drinks made with Coffee Labs Coffee, plus pastries, and breakfast sandwiches filled with linguiça, Jorge cheese, and Benton’s bacon.

10-3-2015 4-25-35 PM

Comfort Food as it’s Best …