2018-04-04 / Restaurant of the Week


A meal at O Lavrador is a treat for everyone, friends and family alike. This classic Portuguese restaurant is a rustic escape from the ordinary and the food is simply outstanding. Now that it’s finally Spring, choose O Lavrador for all your family celebrations in their spacious dining room and two banquet halls. Host your graduation, communion, confirmation, shower, or baptism in one of their banquet halls that accommodate 35 and 65 people respectively. A family dinner for up to 20 can be accommodated in the main dining room and live guitar music fills the air Monday to Wednesday from 6-9pm. This year, “O Lavrador,” which means “the farmer” in Portuguese, is celebrating its 37th year in Jamaica. The Ferreira and Henriques families are at the helm and Manuela, Edgar, and Mario treat all their guests like family, so relax and sit back as you enjoy a memorable meal. Eloisa, our lovely server, had been coming here for years before she started working at O Lavrador, and even met her husband here at this charming family restaurant. She brought us a colorful ceramic pitcher full of the house red wine from Portugal which was imbued with the flavor of the sun. Fruity sangria is another great choice or try one of their inventive cocktails like the “Tudo Bem” with citron vodka, triple sec, cranberry and orange juices. The “Lisboa Iced Tea” packs a punch while the “Portini” is mixed with ruby port, fig vodka, and cranberry. The adjoining bar is a nice place to visit on its own for a drink after work, along with some savory appetizers such as their golden cod croquettes, shrimp turnovers, or meat croquettes.

My uncle and I shared the Iberian platter for 2 as a first course which was a sumptuous platter containing four dishes full of crispy, fried calamari, tender shrimp in aromatic garlic and parsley sauce, juicy clams in garlic and wine, and fried Portuguese sausage made in-house. The warm rolls and homemade Portuguese bread were perfect for soaking up all the delicious sauces. O Lavrador’s octopus is impossibly tender and succulent, finished with smoky paprika and olive oil ($14). Hearty soups include traditional collard green soup, and seafood bisque, also great for whetting your appetite.

Portugal is part of the Iberian Peninsula and so the cuisine features plenty of fish and seafood. Enjoy a whole lobster with shrimp and crabmeat stuffing, served with vegetables. Mariscada con salsa verde is a melange of lobster, clams, mussels, shrimp, calamari, and scallops in a creamy and fragrant parsley sauce, served with rice, ideal for two people ($32). Fresh fillet of sole “Delicia” is a unique combination of fish and pan-fried banana. While this might sound strange, the savory-sweet combination is intoxicating and we devoured the plate, along with rice and perfectly sautéed vegetables that held their color and crunch. Linguine do mar includes clams, mussels, shrimp, calamari and scallops in light marinara sauce; a feast! Share a traditional Spanish style Paella Marinera with seafood, or Paella Valenciana with seafood, chicken, and chorizo sausage with lots of saffron infused rice.

O Lavrador does an equally good job with meat and you will love their grilled lamb chops with rosemary sauce, served with mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables ($23). Tender, grilled skirt steak called entranha is cooked to order and served with oven roasted potatoes and vegetables. Frango ao alho is tender chicken cutlets sautéed with lots of garlic and herbs, served with rice and vegetables ($17).

Take your time, enjoy the music and think about one of their tempting desserts, such as Serradura, a traditional, creamy mousse with vanilla cookies, homemade tiramisu, poached pears, or chocolate lava cake, to name a few. You must have a glass of Porto, dessert wine from Portugal to seal your meal and the coffee is great too.

O Lavrador is planning a Prix Fixe, 4-course menu for Mother’s Day, so pick up the phone now and make that coveted reservation, and don’t forget Father’s Day too. Details of the menu are on their website. O Lavrador will be broadcasting all the World Cup matches from June 14-July 15th in the convivial bar.

O Lavrador is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. They have economical lunch specials and whole chickens on the churrasco to stay or to go. They’re conveniently located just off the Grand Central Parkway (Atlantic Ave Exit) and have free parking. Host your next function at O Lavrador or make any night special with a fine meal here. Visit and celebrate at O Lavrador, a charming, rustic restaurant serving outstanding Portuguese cuisine for the past 37 years.

138-40 101 Avenue  Jamaica


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