SAN JOSE – NOVEMBER 22: Petiscos on San Salvador Street and South First Street is photographed in downtown San Jose, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. (Randy Vazquez/ Bay Area News Group)
Having won acclaim for their high-end Portuguese cuisine, the owners and chefs at San Jose’s Adega restaurant are now sharing small-plate versions of their award-winning preparations of octopus, codfish, linguica, chorizo and more.
Their casual spin-off restaurant, Petiscos, opens today in downtown San Jose for socially distanced outdoor dining and takeout.
When they went public with their plans for the restaurant in late summer, co-owners Carlos and Fernanda Carreira declared their support for downtown and, in particular, the SoFA district.
“It’s an uncertain and unclear time to open another project, given the restaurant industry’s current situation, but we feel confident and optimistic about the future of downtown San Jose,” Carlos said.
In renovating the historic brick restaurant space at the corner of South First and West San Salvador streets, they decided to pay tribute both to the city’s Little Portugal, where Adega is located, and to the homeland.
A wall mural by local artist Joseph Arruda depicts Five Wounds Church, the Alum Rock neighborhood landmark, against a backdrop of scenes of Portugal.
“This is always so present — the Portuguese church, one of the oldest buildings in the county,” Carlos said. “And the soul of Portugal is here too,” Fernanda added.
Highlights from chef David Costa’s menu at Petiscos — the name means small plates, the Portuguese equivalent of Spanish tapas — include flamed chorizo, octopus two ways (oven roasted and in a salad), codfish two ways (codfish cakes and casserole), steamed clams and mussels, beef tripe and bean stew, hot Francesinha sandwiches and Pica-Pau (beef sauteed with garlic and pickles).
Pastry chef Jessica Carreira’s dessert menu features orange torte, flan, almond tart, chocolate mousse and a baked meringue pudding.
Many of the dishes will be served on traditional clay dinnerware the family received when they purchased their Alum Rock Avenue building from longtime restaurateurs Leonel and Aira Sousa in 2015.
Later that year they opened their flagship Adega, with chefs Costa and Carreira at the helm. In 2016 it became the city’s first restaurant and the West Coast’s first Portuguese restaurant to be honored with a Michelin star.
In November 2019, the family opened their first downtown venture, a bakery-cafe on Santa Clara Street. Pastelaria Adega sells pastéis de nata custards and other Portuguese sweets and snacks.
Now, with the new Petiscos, “We have come full circle. The fine dining, the sweets and the casual,” Carlos said.
Details: Petiscos is located at 399 S. First St., San Jose; 408-320-2884. To reserve an outdoor table, go to http://petiscosadega.com/.