2002-11-06 / Restaurant of the Week


Of The WeekVisit To Cafe Salamanca Is Like A Trip To Spain
By Teresa Barile

Of The Week
Visit To Cafe Salamanca Is Like A Trip To Spain

Step into the garden-like dining room at Café Salamanca and you'll feel as if you're on one of the patios prevalent in Spain. Owner Justo Seoana has owned Café Salamanca, located on Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights, for 18 years. He modeled his comfortable restaurant after the many cafes in his native town of Orense in the northwest corner of Spain, known as Galicia. Stucco walls are adorned with scenes from Spain and accented with wrought iron coach lamps. Hanging plants lend an outdoor feeling. The well-dressed, professional staff will cater to every need and Justo is always around to oversee the dining room and kitchen. Lots of friends and locals gather at the cozy bar to enjoy a cocktail or wine after work and before dinner.

Sample one of Café Salamanca's delicious appetizers or soups, such as the seafood soup. This creamy, thick soup which is chock full of clams and mussels and laced with asparagus is delicately seasoned ($6.25). A plate of thinly sliced serrano ham and juicy olives made me think of the tapas bars of Spain. Snack on these appetizers at the bar as well. My favorite is the shrimp swimming in a delectable garlic sauce that demands to be soaked up with the light and crusty rolls brought to your table. Pulpo gallego and fried calamari, though not listed on the menu, are almost always available for the asking, and do ask for these wonderful creations. The stuffed mushrooms are tender morsels filled with shrimp and scallops.

Café Salamanca offers an unbeatable complete dinner special seven nights a week which includes soup, choice of one-pound lobster or their paella and dessert and coffee, all for the amazing price of $18.95.

Paella Valenciana, a dish practically synonymous with Spain, is prepared in a traditional cast iron pot, with chicken, sausage and rice, or marinera style, simmered with a mélange of fresh seafood including a whole lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels and scallops. The saffron-infused rice, peas and red peppers makes this a complete and satisfying meal. Paella takes about a half an hour to prepare, so place your order, then nibble on appetizers and sip sangria while you wait. It's definitely worth it. Fresh lobster is offered every night of the week at only $14.75 for one or $26.50 for two.

In addition to the varieties of paella, Café Salamanca serves a broiled baby rack of lamb. Veal Salamanca is tender veal prepared with mushrooms in a savory brown sauce. One of the most popular dishes on the menu is the broiled seafood combination for $18.25 and includes clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops and a lobster tail, broiled with melted butter. Fresh fish of the day such as hake, is prepared Basque style ($14.75) and stuffed filet of sole is also available. All entreés are served with salad, Spanish rice or potato and vegetable.

Landlubbers can order tender, juicy filet mignon with mushroom caps or thick cut pork chops, broiled to order. Broiled chicken and sautéed chicken dishes are available as well. Best of all, food is elegantly served by the efficient wait staff who tend to every need.

After such a fine meal, try flan, a traditional Spanish custard with caramel sauce, or ice cream or pastries. The coffee is rich and delicious as well.

Café Salamanca has a fabulous, private party room which is completely separate from the main dining room. It holds up to 60 people and has its own bar and restrooms. The newly painted and decorated room would be a great place for your next special occasion or holiday party. Business luncheons and dinners are welcome. Complete meals start at just $20 per person. Call Justo for details.

Café Salamanca is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Visit on a Saturday night to be serenaded by soothing guitar music while you dine. Café Salamanca will be open on Thanksgiving, offering both the regular menu and a complete turkey dinner, to please everyone. Great food, wine, music and service at Café Salamanca.

Cafe Salamanca

79-05 Northern Blvd.

Jackson Heights


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