Cape Verdean in Boston
I spent an evening in Boston this summer before heading up to the north shore. With time for one dinner in town, I decided that I really wanted to try a cuisine that's unavailable in New York, Cape Verdean. Southern New England is the epicenter of the Portuguese-speaking diaspora in the U.S., especially around Cape Cod, New Bedford, Providence and eastern Connecticut (remember Julia Roberts in Mystic Pizza?). Not only are there plenty of Portuguese and Brazilians in that neck of the coast, there are also immigrants from Portugal's former African colonies: Cape Verde, certainly, and I think, to some degree at least, Angola, Mozambique and Sao Tome e Principe. The islands of Cabo Verde, or Cape Verde, lie in the Atlantic about 350 miles off the west coast of Africa. They were uninhabited when discovered by the Portuguese, and most of the inhabitants now are creoles of mixed Portuguese and African ancestry. The country's most famous export is the singer Cesaria Evora, the barefoot diva.
We had started with two appetizers. The fried quail was wonderfully flavorful, with prominent but not overpowering notes of wine and garlic. The octopus was grilled to perfection with an enticing char.