George Mendes opened Aldea in 2009, and when he recently reflected on his fine-dining restaurant’s longevity, he said, “There are days where we just want to grill a piece of fish and throw some sea salt and lemon on it.” At Lupulo, opening tonight, Mendes will get to cook more casually: Inspired by Lisbon breweries, he’ll serve tapas-style dishes like salt-cod croquettes, grilled sardines, chicken that’s been butterflied and crisped over embers, and braised goat.
There’s a wood-fired grill in the center of the kitchen — where the 60-day-aged beef rib-eye gets prepared — as well as a raw bar and a charcuterie station. To drink, Mendes has Portuguese and American craft beers on tap, plus Portuguese wine and “simple” cocktails. The idea is that Lupulo will feel like a true neighborhood restaurant. Take a look:
Lupulo, 835 Avenue of the Americas (at 29th Street), 212-290-7600