Assado Portuguese Steakhouse: The Ironbound Is Now In Livingston
Everything you liked about going to the Ironbound section of Newark for Portuguese food is now found in Suburban Essex right on Livingston Avenue! Enter Assado, which in Portuguese is “Grill”–as in, on a summer evening, “Let’s do an assado.” All of the classic Portuguese favorites you expect to find are here. And they’re all noteworthy. Shrimp in Garlic Sauce is served with Saffron Rice and Spanish-style Potato Chips, in a rich sauce with just the right amount of garlic, and shrimp which have been cooked to that perfect tender moment. Polvo Lagareio is Grilled Octopus, served with Roasted Potatoes, Onions, Garlic and Peppers, drizzled with Olive Oil. If you’ve never tried Octopus, this is the place to do so. There isn’t a more traditional Ironbound dish than Seafood Paella. Assado’s is a combination of Lobster, Shrimp, Clams, Scallops and Mussels served in a bed of Saffron Rice with select seasonings. It’s everything Paella should be and more so. When pressed, owner Wilson DeSoussa will tell you he’s a steak guy, and that his favorite dish is the Cowboy Steak, and it’s served grilled just right. Do save room for the desserts. Any of which is a delightful way to end the meal, but the Portuguese Flan is a stand out. Couple it with a rich Espresso and you know you’ve been there and done the job right.
DeSoussa, born and raised in that storied section of Newark, has brought the best of it to his current hometown of Livingston. It’s in his blood: his family was in the restaurant and food distribution industry as he was growing up, and as soon as he was old enough he joined the family business and worked his way up from busser to the front end then to the manager’s position. After a stint in Maize, the in-house restaurant at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, he says, “I saw a need for Portuguese food in Livingston.”
He says it’s always something different every day. He loves meeting people, interacting with people, and serving people. But what he likes best about being in the business is simply: “the food and the customers.” Assado is a BYOB welcoming place, with terrific food, plenty of parking, and a warm and gracious host. It’s the best of the Ironbound, but practically just around the corner. We recommend it.
Assado Portuguese Steakhouse
222 N. Livingston Avenue, Livingston