Koo Zee Doo Brings Family-Style Portuguese Fare to NoLibs

Husband-and-wife chef team Carla Goncalves and David Gilberg, formerly of The Ugly American, are shooting for an October 8 October 9 opening for Koo Zee Doo, their Portuguese-inspired BYOB in the former home of Copper Bistro in Northern Liberties. Goncalves says the menu is inspired by her Portuguese mother’s recipes, but she and Gilberg will make it their own. How will they do that? Well, for starters, by being kind to vegetables.

“The Portuguese tend to overcook their vegetables - like cooking green beans until they’re brown. We’re going to treat them with a little bit more respect than that,” says Goncalves. While the work-in-progress menu (which you can see below) incorporates traditional recipes, Gilberg, who will handle most of the savory kitchen duties, also plans to incorporate French and other techniques to create a modern take on the fare. The food will be served family-style; Goncalves says to expect larger-than-average entrees meant for sharing. She estimates dinner for two will ring in at roughly $50 total (remember, it’s BYOB).

Starting in November, the couple plan to offer monthly five-course tasting menus inspired by former Portuguese colonies like Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor and Macao. “The Portuguese were navigators, explorers and adventurers,” Goncalves says, “we want to play around with the flavors from these places.”

Goncalves is on pastry and dessert duty (you may remember her biscuits and muffins from the duo’s previous stint at The Ugly American). All breads will be made in-house, including what she describes as a traditional Portuguese-style cornbread, which has a typical French bread crust and a “moist, tight crumb” inside.

Koo Zee Doo, a phonetic spelling of “cozido” the Portuguese word for cooked, will be open Thursday through Monday for dinner from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. They plan on launching Friday, Saturday and Sunday lunch service in November. They will take reservations. Check out the working version of the menu below. Chocolate salami and mousse sandwich, anyone?


Gambas Grelhadas
Grilled prawns

Queijo Fresco
Fresh goat’s milk cheese

Carapau Frito
Fried horse mackerel

Braised chicken gizzards

Pasteis de bacalhau
Salt cod croquettes

Rissiois de Camarão
Creamy shrimp turnovers

Bolinhos de Couve e Pimentos
Collard greens & red pepper croquettes


Caldo Verde
Pureed potato broth with collards and chourico

Canja de Ameijoas
Clam and rice soup

Acorda de Beldroegas
Bread soup with purslane, mushrooms, cheese
and poached egg


Salada de Chocos com Feijao Frade
Cuttlefish and black-eyed pea salad

Salada de Bacalhau com Grao de Bico
Salt cod and chickpea salad with boiled egg

Salada de Tomate com Queijo Fresco
Tomato salad with fresh cheese


Sardinhas na Brasa
Grilled sardines with roasted pepper salad

Caldeirada de Marisco
Seafood and potato stew

Peixe Frito com Arroz de Tomate
Fried fish with tomato rice

Bacalhau a Lagareiro
Grilled salt cod with punched potatoes


Arroz de Pato
Baked rice, chourico, braised and pan-seared duck

Coelho a Caçador
Stewed rabbit with potatoes

Carne de Porco a Alentejana
Pork and clams with crisp potatoes

Bife a Portuguesa
Flat iron steak with presunto, fried egg and fried potatoes sauteed broccoli rabe

Feijoada à Transmontana
Pork and bean stew


Pastel de Nata
Custard baked in puff pastry cup

Bolo de Bolacha
Coffee soaked wafers with buttercream

Sandes de Salame de Chocolate
Chocolate salami and mousse sandwich

Tarte de Amendoa
Caramelized almond tart

Aletria com chocolate
Noodle pudding dipped in chocolate

Koo Zee Doo, 614 N 2nd St.; (215) 923-8080

Koo Zee Doo Brings Family-Style Portuguese Fare to NoLibs