The Hart’s Team Is Opening a Seafood-Heavy Portuguese Spot on the Lower East Side

Manila clams with white wine, garlic, and parsley.

The Mediterranean coastline is diverse enough to inspire more than one kind of restaurant. And so less than a year after opening Hart’s in Bedford-Stuyvesant, partners Nialls Fallon and chef Nick Perkins will branch out into Manhattan with Cervo’s, slated to open in about a week and a half. Where Hart’s traffics in the foods and flavors of Italy, southern France, and northern Africa, the new restaurant and its co-chef, Aaron Crowder, will take cues from Portugal and Spain. (Cervo is the Portuguese word for hart, which means stag, and also happens to be Perkins’s middle name.) Common denominators abound: a focus on seafood and vegetables, a reliance on olive oil, a predominance of natural wines. At Cervo’s, which replaces the Manhattan outpost of Pies ’n’ Thighs, the menu comprises raw oysters and preserved seafood, some of it housemade; vegetables (and Hart’s signature lamb burger, pictured below) flavored with things like anchovies or bottarga; and shareable entrées like whole fish cooked on the plancha. “We really see this as a Portuguese version of Hart’s,” says Fallon, right down to the custard desserts and Madeira wines.

Grass-fed lamb burger with anchovies. Photo: Melissa Hom
Olives with paprika oil, and a glass of Madeira.
Prawns with sweet chile and oranges.
Asparagus with chorizo and aïoli.
Butter beans with squid, octopus, and mussels.
Beef tartare with littleneck clams.
Oysters on the half-shell.
Boston mackerel, potatoes, and salsa verde.

43 Canal St., nr. Ludlow St.; 212-226-2545

*A version of this article appears in the May 29, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.

The Hart’s Team Is Opening a Portuguese Spot on the LES