If you’ve been out of touch, Lita is Chef David Viana’s new venture to honor his Portuguese roots… it’s officially opening tomorrow night, but of course they’ve been getting lots of press already, as Chef is part of Heirloom Kitchen and Heirloom at the St. Laurent.
While I don’t have a reservation yet, I’ve been looking forward to this place since they first announced it, as one of the (few) things I miss about living in NNJ is going to the Ironbound on a regular basis for Portuguese and Spanish food! Lita will (no surprise) get their chourico from Lopes Sausage, which is THE spot in Newark to buy it, and the Lita Instagram page already has me drooling.
The cocktails look great too, and I was surprised to read that their bar manager (who moved from Miami to be part of this venture) “will manage Lita’s sister location, La Otra, located next to the restaurant. It boasts a more causal atmosphere meant for sipping cocktails, listening to music and snacking on Portuguese skewers. La Otra will open organically, a few months after Lita has settled into operation.”
Albariño is our go-to for this type of cuisine because they have a very pleasant patio which meets our need for outdoor dining. Overall, Lita’s prices are comparable though Albariño’s paellas are priced per person (minimum 2 guests) while there is no indication on Lita’s menu as to how many each paella serves.
In my opinion, those prices are reasonable/in line with other restaurants in the area, most of which aren’t cooking at this level. Just one example: I just saw the menu for a newly opened Italian place (pizza! pasta! burgers!) nearby and their house-made New England Clam Chowder is 11.95/bowl.
I don’t know if it was about the average check or the length of time it takes to produce those dishes… Either way, I’m still up in the air about what I think. I’m anxious to try it and will get there eventually, but I hate being restricted to a handful of choices! That said, I think the pricing is reasonable for the options.
I hear what you are saying, but in their case they are offering 6 or 7 different items in the Esenciales and Especialidades, which I feel doesn’t hamstring people too much. Admittedly the Apertivo is more limited at 3 choices. I’ve not been so I am assuming the Esenciales is more of an appetizer??